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old  Scottish  lady,  four  generations  ago,  used  to 
say,  'It  is  a  great  comfort  to  think  that,  at  the  Day 
of  Judgment,  we  shall  know  the  whole  truth  about  the 
Gowrie  Conspiracy  at  last.'  Since  the  author,  as  a 
child,  read  '  The  Tales  of  a  Grandfather,'  and  shared 
King  Jamie's  disappointment  when  there  was  no  pot 
of  gold,  but  an  armed  man,  in  the  turret,  he  had  sup- 
posed that  we  do  know  all  about  the  Gowrie  Con- 
spiracy, that  it  was  a  plot  to  capture  the  King,  carry 
him  to  Fastcastle,  and  '  see  how  the  country  would 
take  it,'  as  in  the  case  of  the  Gunpowder  Plot.  But 
just  as  Father  Gerard  has  tried  to  show  that  the  Gun- 
powder affair  may  have  been  Cecil's  plot,  so  modern 
historians  doubt  whether  the  Gowrie  mystery  was 
not  a  conspiracy  by  King  James  himself.  Mr.  Hume 
Brown  appears  rather  to  lean  to  this  opinion,  in 
the  second  volume  of  his  '  History  of  Scotland,'  and 
Dr.  Masson,  in  his  valuable  edition  of  the  '  Eegister  of 
the  Privy  Council,'  is  also  dubious.  Mr.  Louis  Barbe, 
in  his  '  Tragedy  of  Gowrie  House,'  holds  a  brief  against 
the  King.  Thus  I  have  been  tempted  to  study  this 


4auld  misterie'  afresh,  and  have  convinced  myself 
that  such  historians  as  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Mr.  Frazer 
Tvtler,  and  Mr.  Hill  Burton  were  not  wrong ;  the 


plot  was  not  the  King's  conspiracy,  but  the  desperate 
venture  of  two  very  young  men.  The  precise  object 
remains  obscure  in  detail,  but  the  purpose  was  probably 
to  see  how  a  deeply  discontented  Kirk  and  country 
'  would  take  it.' 

In  working  at  this  fascinatingly  mysterious  puzzle, 
I  have  made  use  of  manuscript  materials  hitherto 
uncited.  The  most  curious  of  these,  the  examina- 
tions and  documents  of  the  '  country  writer,'  Sprot, 
had  been  briefly  summarised  in  Sir  William  Fraser's 
'Memorials  of  the  Earls  of  Haddington.'  My  attention 
was  drawn  to  this  source  by  the  Eev.  John  Anderson, 
of  the  General  Eegister  House,  who  aided  Sir 
William  Fraser  in  the  compilation  of  his  book.  The 
Earl  of  Haddington  generously  permitted  me  to  have 
copies  made  of  the  documents,  which  Lady  Cecily 
Baillie-Hamiltoii  was  kind  enough  to  search  for  and 

< — s 

rediscover  in  an  enormous  mass  of  documents  be- 
queathed by  the  learned  first  Earl. 

On  reading  the  Calendars  of  the  Hatfield  MSS. 


I  had  observed  that  several  letters  by  the  possible 
conspirator,  Logan  of  Eestalrig,  were  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  Marquis  of  Salisbury,  who  was  good 
enough  to  permit  photographs  of  some  specimens  to 
be  taken.  These  were  compared,  by  Mr.  Anderson, 
with  the  alleged  plot-letters  of  Logan  at  Edinburgh  ; 
while  photographs  of  the  plot-letters  were  compared 


with  Logan's  authentic  letters  at  Hatfield,  by  Mr. 
Gunton,  to  whose  acuteness  and  energy  I  owe  the 
greatest  gratitude.  The  results  of  the  comparison 
settle  the  riddle  of  three  centuries. 

The  other  hitherto  unused  manuscripts  are  in 
no  more  recondite  place  than  the  Eecord  Office  in 
London,  and  I  do  not  know  how  they  managed  to 
escape  the  notice  of  previous  writers  on  the  subject. 
To  Dr.  Masson's  'Eegister  of  the  Privy  Council'  I 
am  indebted  for  the  sequel  of  the  curious  adventure 
of  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant,  whose  part  in  the  mystery, 
hitherto  overlooked,  is  decisive,  if  we  accept  the 
evidence — a  point  on  which  the  reader  must  form  his 
own  opinion.  For  copies  made  at  the  Eecord  Office 
I  have  to  thank  the  care  and  accuracy  of  Miss  E.  M. 

To  Mr.  Anderson's  learning  and  zest  in  this 
6  longest  and  sorest  chase '  (as  King  James  called  his 
hunt  on  the  morning  of  the  fatal  August  5)  I  am 
under  the  deepest  obligations.  The  allurements  of  a 
romantic  conclusion  have  never  tempted  him  to  leave 
the  strait  path  of  historical  impartiality. 

I  have  also  to  thank  Mr.  Henry  Paton  for  his 
careful  copies  of  the  Haddington  MSS.,  extracts  from 
the  Treasurer's  accounts,  and  other  researches. 

For  permission  to  reproduce  the  picture  of  Fast- 
castle  by  the  Eev.  Mr.  Thomson  of  Duddingston,  I 
have  to  thank  the  kindness  of  Mrs.  Blackwood-Porter. 
The  painting,  probably  of  about  1820,  when  compared 


with  the  photograph  of  to-day,  shows  the  destruction 

wrought  bv  wind  and  weather  in  the  old  fortalice. 

>  j 

My  obligations  to  Sir  James  Balfonr  Panl  (Lyon 
King  of  Arms)  for  information  on  points  of  Heraldry 
ought  to  be  gratefully  acknowledged. 

Since  this  book  was  written,  the  author  has  had 
an  opportunity  to  read  an  Apology  for  the  Kuthvens 
by  the  late  Andrew  Bisset.  This  treatise  is  apt  to 
escape  observation  :  it  is  entitled  '  Sir  Walter  Scott,' 
and  occupies  pp.  172-303  in  'Essays  on  Historical 
Truth,'  long  out  of  print.1  On  many  points  Mr.  Bisset 
agreed  with  Mr.  Barbe  in  his  'Tragedy  of  Gowrie 
House,'  and  my  replies  to  Mr.  Barbe  serve  for  his 
predecessor.  But  Mr.  Bisset  found  no  evidence  that 
the  King  had  formed  a  plot  against  Gowrie.  By  a 
modification  of  the  contemporary  conjecture  of  Sir 
William  Bowes  he  suggested  that  a  brawl  between 

t_-^  t- / 

the  Kino-  and  the  Master  of  Euthven  occurred  in  the 


turret,  occasioned  bv  an  atrocious  insult  offered  to 


the  Master  by  the  King.  This  hypothesis,  for  various 
reasons,  does  not  deserve  discussion.  Mr.  Bisset  ap- 
peared to  attribute  the  Sprot  papers  to  the  combined 
authorship  of  the  King  and  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton : 
which  our  new  materials  disprove.  A  critic  who, 
like  Mr.  Bisset,  accused  the  King  of  poisoning  Prince 
Henry,  and  many  other  persons,  was  not  an  unpreju- 
diced historian. 

1  Longmans,  Green,  &  Co.,  1871. 




I.  THE  MYSTERY  AND  THE  EVIDENCE                  ...  1 

II.  THE  SLAUGHTER  OF  THE  KUTHVENS  .         .                 .     .  11 


IV.  THE  KING'S  NARRATIVE.     II      ...                 .     .  55 
V.  HENDERSON'S  NARRATIVE        .                          ...  60 

VI.  THE  STRANGE  CASE  OF  MR.  EGBERT  OLIPHAXT         .     .  71 


VIII.  THE  THEORY  OF  AN  ACCIDENTAL  BRAWL    .                 .     .  94 

IX.  CONTEMPORARY  CLERICAL  CRITICISM                .                 .  99 

X.  POPULAR  CRITICISM  OF  THE  DAY        .                          .     .  Ill 


XII.  LOGAN  OF  EESTALRIG           .        .                 ....  148 



XV.  THE  FINAL  CONFESSIONS  OF  THE  NOTARY       .         .         .  201 

XVI.  WHAT  is  LETTER  IV  ?.        .        .                 .         .     .  232 





A.  THE  FRONTISPIECE         ....  .  245 

B.  THE  CONTEMPORARY  RUTHVEN  VINDICATION     .         .  .     .  252 

C.  FIVE  LETTERS  FORGED  BY  SPROT,  AS  FROM  LOGAN  .        .  257 

INDEX  .     .  265 


GOWRIE'S  COAT  OF  ARMS Frontispiece 


JAMES  VI .         .        .        .        .         .        .        .        .     .     to  face  p.  4 

From  the  picture  painted  by  Paul    Van  Somer  (1621)  now  in  the 
National  Portrait  Gallery 

QUEEN  ANNE „        188 

From  a  painting  by  Paul  Van  Somer  in   Queen  Anne's  Room, 
St.  James's  Palace 

FALKLAND  PALACE „          33 

From  a  Photograph  by  J.  Valentine  &  Sons,  Dundee 

DIRLETON  CASTLE „          82 

From  a  Photograph  by  J.  Valentine  &  Sons,  Dundee 

FALKLAND  PALACE  :  THE  COURTYARD  ....     .,116 

From  a  Photograph  by  J.  Valentine  <L-  Sons,  Dundee 

BESTALRIG  HOUSE „        150 

From  a  Photograph  by  W.  J.  Hay,  Edinburgh 

EESTALRIG  VILLAGE „         150 

From  a  Photograph  by  W.  J.  Hay,  Edinburgh 

FASTCASTLE  (circ.  1820) „        154 

From  a  picture  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Thomson,  of  Duddingston,  in  the 
possession  of  Mrs.  Blackwood-Porter 


FASTCASTLE to  face  p.  176 

From  a  Photograph  by  J.  Valentin?  <(•  Sons,  Dundee 

FASTCASTLE ,,         192 

From  a  Photograph  by  J.  Valentine  &  Sons,  Dundee 

HANDWRITING  OF  LOGAN  (January  1585-6)     ...  „         196 

HAND  OF  LOGAN  AS  FORGED  BY  SPROT   (second  page 

of  Letter  IV) ,,202 

HANDWRITING  OF  SPROT  (July  5,  1608)  ....  ,,        210 


SITUATION  AND  TOPOGRAPHY  OF  GOWRIE  HOUSE       .         .  .  p-  15 

INTERIOR  OF  GOWRIE  HOUSE         .        .        .         .                 .  .  ,,  17 






THERE  are  enigmas  in  the  annals  of  most  peoples ; 
riddles  put  by  the  Sphinx  of  the  Past  to  the  curious 
of  the  new  generations.  These  questions  do  not 
greatly  concern  tlje-  scientific '.historian,  who  is  busy 
with  constitute  Qji-making,  statistics,,  progress,  degene- 
ration, in  short  with  human  evolution.  These  high 
matters,,  these  streams  of  tendency,  form  the  staple  of 


history,  but  the  problems  of  personal  character  and 
action  still  interest  some  inquiring^  minds.  Among 
these  enigmas  nearly  the  most^.o-fcscure,  'TheGowrie 
Conspiracy,'  is  our  topic.,  \  -  ' 

This  affair  is  ope  of ,  the  haunting  mysteries  of 
the  past,  one  of  the  problems  that  nobody  has  solved. 
The  events  occurred  in  1600,  but  the  interest  which 
they  excited  was  so  keen  that  belief  in  the  guilt  or 
innocence  of  the  two  noble  brothers  who  perished  in 
an  August  afternoon,  was  a  party  shibboleth  in  the 
Wars  of  the  Saints  against  the  Malignants,  the  strife 



of  Cavaliers  and  Roundheads.  The  problem  has  ever 
since  attracted  the  curious,  as  do  the  enigma  of 
Perkin  Warbeck,  the  true  character  of  Eichard  III, 
the  real  face  behind  '  The  Iron  Mask,'  the  identity  of 
the  False  Pucelle,  and  the  innocence  or  guilt  of  Mary 

In  certain  respects  the  Gowrie  mystery  is  neces- 
sarily less  attractive  than  that  of  '  the  fairest  and 
most  pitiless  Queen  on  earth.'  There  is  no  woman  in 
the  story.  The  world,  of  course,  when  the  Euthvens 
died,  at  once  acted  on  the  maxim,  cherchez  la  femme. 
The  woman  in  the  case,  men  said,  was  the  beautiful 
Queen,  Anne  of  Denmark,  wife  of  James  VI.  That 
fair  and  frivolous  dame,  '  very  very  woman,'  cer- 
tainly did  her  best,  by  her  behaviour,  to  encourage 

c        '  '  c      f     I>CA 

the  belief  that  she  was  the  cau£'e;  'of  these  sorrows. 

C  ,.     t  r         <  (       .  (  t 

-fr-v.  ' 

Even  so,  when  the  Bonny  Earl  Moray — the  tallest 
and  most  beautiful  man  in  Scotland — died  like  a  lion 
dragged  down  by  wolves,  the  people  sang  : 

He  was  i  brave  gallant, 

And  he  rode  at  the  ring, 
And  the  Bonny  Earl  Moray, 

He  mighu  have  been  the  Kmg. 


He  was  a  brave  gallant, 

And  he  rode  at  the  glove, 
And  the  Bonny  Earl  Moray 

He  was  the  Queen's  love. 

On  one  side  was  a  beautiful  Queen  mated  with 
James  VI,  a  pedant  and  a  clown.  On  the  other 
side  were,  first  the  Bonny  Earl,  then  the  Earl  of 


Gowrie,  both  young,  brave,  handsome,  both  suddenly 
slain  by  the  King's  friends :  none  knew  why.  The 
opinion  of  the  godly,  of  the  Kirk,  of  the  people,  and 
even  of  politicians,  leaped  to  the  erroneous  conclusion 
that  the  young  men  perished,  like  Konigsmarck, 
because  they  were  beautiful  and  beloved,  and  be- 
cause the  Queen  was  fair  and  kind,  and  the  King 
was  ugly,  treacherous,  and  jealous.  The  rumour  also 
ran,  at  least  in  tradition,  that  Gowrie  '  might  have 
been  the  King,'  an  idea  examined  in  Appendix  A. 
Here  then  was  an  explanation  of  the  slaying  of 
the  Euthvens  on  the  lines  dear  to  romance.  The 
humorous  King  Jamie  (who,  if  he  was  not  always 
sensible,  at  least  treated  his  nighty  wife  with  abun- 
dance of  sense)  had,  to,  play *£he. part  of  King  Mark 

•    •   •  j  • 

of  Cornwall   to.Oowjie's   Si^* -Tristram.      For   this 

«.  •  %*    *  •  *  *  *  •> 
theory,  we  shall? /^Ow',  no  evitfetiqe'  exists,  and,  in 

'looking  for;  the '.woman,'  fancy,  found  two  men. 
The  Queen  5'was  "alternately  said  °,to  iQve  Gowrie, 
and  to  love  Bis.' Brother,  the  Master*  bf,1  Euthven,  a 

.  • 

*  *  A    9 

lad  of  nineteen —-if  she  did  not  lovfe  both  at  once. 

»*  •   •  •   •  • 

It  is  curious  tTastt/the    affair   did   not  ^ive  rise   to 

•    ,•    .'..*••••  .  ••••  ••*   • 

ballads  ;  if  it  did; 'none0 has  reacHe/d'.us. 

'  '    •  •  «  •        •         9 

•  *  *  •  *          « 

In  truth  there  was,  ,np  m  ^fr'm'an  in  the  case,  and 
this  of  course  makes  the  mystery  much  less  excit- 
ing than  that  of  Mary  Stuart,  for  whom  so  many 
swords  and  pens  have  been  drawn.  The  interest 
of  character  and  of  love  is  deficient.  Of  Gowrie's 
character,  and  even  of  his  religion,  apart  from  his 
learning  and  fascination,  we  really  know  almost 

B   2 


nothing.  Did  he  cherish  that  strongest  and  most  sacred 
of  passions,  revenge  ;  had  he  brooded  over  it  in  Italy, 
where  revenge  was  subtler  and  craftier  than  in  Scot- 
land ?  Did  this  passion  blend  with  the  vein  of  fanati- 
cism in  his  nature  ?  Had  he  been  biding  his  time, 
and  dreaming,  over  sea,  boyish  dreams  of  vengeance 

O '  •/  C 

and  ambition  ?  All  this  appears  not  improbable,  and 
would,  if  true,  explain  all ;  but  evidence  is  defective. 
Had  Gowrie  really  cherished  the  legacy  of  revenge 
for  a  father  slain,  and  a  mother  insulted ;  had  he 
studied  the  subtleties  of  Italian  crime,  pondered  over 
an  Italian  plot  till  it  seemed  feasible,  and  communi- 
cated his  vision  to  the  boy  brother  whom  he  found 
at  home — the  mystery  would  be  transparent. 

As  to  Kino-  James,  'we  krirhv  him  well.     The  babe 

^—^  (      _  f       f 

'wronged  in  hi$\ mother's  w-bnib,;''  threatened  by 
conspirators  before  his  birth ;  •  terrified  by  a  harsh 
tutor  as  a  child ;  bullied ;  preached  at ;  captured  ; 
insulted  ;  ruled  now  by  debauched  favourites,  now 
by  godly  ruffians  ;  James  naturally  grew  up  a  dis- 
sembler, and  be'trayed  his  fa ther's-  murderer  with  a 
kiss.  He  was  frightened  into 'deceit:  he  could  be 
cruel ;  he  became, "as'  lar  as  he  might,  a  tyrant.  But, 
though  not  the  abject,  .coward  'of  tradition,  James 
(as  he  himself  observed)  was  never  the  man  to  risk 
his  life  in  a  doubtful  brawl,  on  the  chance  that  his 
enemies  might  perish  while  lie  escaped.  For  him  a 
treachery  of  that  kind,  an  affair  of  sword  and  dagger 
fights  on  staircases  and  in  turrets  and  chambers, 


in   the   midst  of  a  town    of  doubtful   loyalty,  had 









'  t  tt  Site  ,      \n/trtttrrft/f>f/~firi/~.'//i/// 



certainly  no  attractions.  Moreover,  he  had  a  sense 
of  humour.  This  has  been  the  opinion  of  our  best 
historians,  Scott,  Mr.  Tytler,  and  Mr.  Hill  Burton; 
but  enthusiastic  writers  have  always  espoused  the 
cause  of  the  victims,  the  Euthvens,  so  young,  brave, 
handsome  ;  so  untimely  slain,  as  it  were  on  their  own 
hearthstone.  Other  authors,  such  as  Dr.  Masson  in 
our  own  day,  and  Mr.  S.  E.  Gardiner,  have  abstained 
from  a  verdict,  or  have  attempted  the  via  media  ; 
have  leaned  to  the  idea  that  the  Euthvens  died 
in  an  accidental  brawl,  caused  by  a  nervous  and 
motiveless  fit  of  terror  on  the  part  of  the  King. 
Thus  the  question  is  unsettled,  the  problem  is  un- 
solved. Why  did  the  jolly  hunt  at  Falkland,  in  the 
bright  August  morning,  end  in  the  sanguinary  scuffle  in 
the  town  house  at  Perth  ;  the  deaths  of  the  Euthvens  ; 
the  tumult  in  the  town  ;  the  King's  homeward  ride 
through  the  dark  and  dripping  twilight ;  the  laying 
of  the  dead  brothers  side  by  side,  while  the  old 
family  servant  weeps  above  their  bodies  ;  and  the 
wailing  of  the  Queen  and  her  ladies  in  Falkland 
Palace,  when  the  torches  guide  the  cavalcade  into  the 
palace  court,  and  the  strange  tale  of  slaughter  is 
variously  told,  c  the  reports  so  fighting  together  that 
no  man  could  have  any  certainty  '  ?  Where  lay  the 
actual  truth  ? 

This  problem,  with  which  the  following  pages  are 
concerned,  is  much  darker  and  more  complex  than 
that  of  the  guilty '  Casket  Letters '  attributed  to  Mary. 
Queen  of  Scots.  The  Queen  did  write  these,  in  the 


madness  of  a  criminal  passion  ;  or  she  wrote  parts 
of  them,  the  rest  beini?  srarbleti  or  forced.  In  either 

*-_^          *v-.  ^— »• 

case,  her  motives,  and  the  motives  of  the  possible 
forgers,  are  distinct,  and  are  human.  The  Queen 
was  in  love  with  one  man,  and  hated  another  to  the 
death  ;  or  her  enemies  desired  to  prove  that  these 
were  her  moods.  Absolute  certainty  escapes  us,  but, 
either  way,  motives  and  purposes  are  intelligible. 
Not  so  with  the  Gowrie  mystery.  The  King, 

Marv's  son,  after  hunting  for  four  hours,  rides   to 


visit  Lord  Gowrie,  a  neighbour.  After  luncheon,  that 
nobleman  and  his  brother  are  slain,  in  their  own  house, 
bv  the  Kind's  attendants.  The  Kiner  srives  his  version 

•,  c  c 

of  the  events  instantly ;  he  never  varies  from  it  in 
any  essential  point,  but  the  story  is  almost  incredible. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  slain  men  cannot  speak,  and 
only  one  of  them,  if  both  were  innocent,  could  have 
told  what  occurred.  But  one  of  their  apologists,  at 
the  time,  produced  a  version  of  the  events  which  is, 
beyond  all  doubt,  boldly  mendacious.  It  was  easy 
to  criticise  and  ridicule  the  King's  version ;  but  the 
opposite  version,  hitherto  unknown  to  historians, 
destroys  itself  by  its  conspicuous  falsehoods.  In  the 
nature  of  the  case,  as  will  appear,  no  story  accounting 
for  such  wild  events  could  be  easily  credible,  so  extra- 
ordinary, motiveless,  and  inexplicable  do  the  circum- 
stances appear.  If  we  try  the  theory  that  the  King 
wove  a  plot,  we  are  met  by  the  fact  that  his  plot  could 
not  have  succeeded  without  the  voluntary  and  vehe- 
ment collaboration  of  one  of  his  victims,  a  thing  that 


no  man  could  have  reckoned  on.  If  we  adopt  the 
idea  that  the  victims  had  laid  a  trap  for  the  King,  we 
have  only  a  vague  surmise  as  to  its  aim,  purpose,  and 
method.  The  later  li^ht  which  seemed  to  fall  on  the 


affair,  as  we  shall  see,  only  darkens  what  was  already 
obscure.  The  inconceivable  iniquity  of  the  Govern- 
ment, at  a  later  date,  reflects  such  discredit  on  all 
concerned  on  their  side,  that  we  might  naturally, 
though  illogically,  be  inclined  to  believe  that,  from 
the  first,  the  King  was  the  conspirator.  But  that^ 
we  shall  find,  was  almost,  or  quite,  a  physical  im- 

Despite  these  embroilments,  I  am,  in  this  case,  able 
to  reach  a  conclusion  satisfactory  to  myself,  a  thing 
which,  in  the  affair  of  the  Casket  Letters  and  Queen 
Mary,  I  was  unable  to  do.1  There  is  no  doubt,  in  my 
own  mind,  that  the  Earl  of  Gowrie  and  his  brother 
laid  a  trap  for  King  James,  and  fell  into  the  pit  which 
they  had  digged. 

To  what  precise  end  they  had  plotted  to  seize  the 
King's  person,  what  they  meant  to  do  with  him  when 
they  had  got  him,  must  remain  matter  of  conjecture. 
But  that  they  intended  to  seize  him,  I  have  no  doubt 
at  all. 

These  pages,  on  so  old  and  vexed  a  problem, 
would  not  have  been  written,  had  I  not  been  fortu- 
nate enough  to  obtain  many  unpublished  manuscript 
materials.  Some  of  these  at  least  clear  up  the 
secondary  enigma  of  the  sequel  of  the  problem  of 

1  See  The  Mystery  of  Mary  Stuart.     Longmans,  1901. 


1600.  Different  readers  will  probably  draw  different 
conclusions  from  some  of  the  other  documents,  but 
perhaps  nobody  will  doubt  that  they  throw  strange 
new  lights  on  Scottish  manners  and  morals. 

The  scheme  adopted  here  is  somewhat  like  that 
of  Mr.  Browning's  poem,  '  The  Eing  and  the  Book.' 
The  personages  tell  their  own  stories  of  the  same  set 
of  events,  in  which  they  were  more  or  less  intimately 
concerned.  This  inevitably  entails  some  repetition, 
but  I  am  unable  to  find  any  plan  less  open  to 

It  must,  of  course,  be  kept  in  mind  that  all  the 
evidence  is  of  a  suspicious  nature.  The  King,  if  he 
were  the  conspirator,  or  even  if  innocent,  had  to 
clear  himself;  and,  frankly,  his  Majesty's  word  was 
not  to  be  relied  upon.  However,  he  alone  was 
cross-examined,  by  an  acute  and  hostile  catechist,  and 
that  upon  oath,  though  not  in  a  court  of  justice.  The 
evidence  of  his  retinue,  and  of  some  other  persons 
present,  was  also  taken  on  oath,  three  months  after 
the  events,  before  a  Parliamentary  Committee,  '  The 
Lords  of  the  Articles.'  We  shall  see  that,  nine  years 
later,  a  similar  Committee  was  deceived  shamelessly 
by  the  King's  Government,  he  himself  being  absent 
in  England.  But  the  nature  of  the  evidence,  in  the 
second  case,  was  entirely  different :  it  did  not  rest 
on  the  sworn  testimony  of  a  number  of  nobles, 
gentlemen,  and  citizens,  but  on  a  question  of  hand- 
writing, comparatio  literarum,  as  in  the  case  of  the 
Casket  Letters.  That  the  witnesses  in  1600  did  not 


perjure  themselves,  in  the  trial  which  followed  on 
the  slaughter  of  the  Euthvens,  is  what  I  have  to 
argue.  Next,  we  have  the  evidence,  taken  under 
torture,  of  three  of  the  slain  Earl's  retainers,  three 
weeks  after  the  events.  No  such  testimony  is  now 
reckoned  of  value,  but  it  will  be  shown  that  the 
statements  made  by  the  tortured  men  only  com- 
promise the  Earl  and  his  brother  incidentally,  and  in 
a  manner  probably  not  perceived  by  the  deponents 
themselves.  They  denied  all  knowledge  of  a  plot, 
disclaimed  belief  in  a  plot  by  the  Earl,  and  let  out 
what  was  suspicious  in  a  casual  way,  without 
observing  the  import  of  their  own  remarks. 

Finally,  we  have  the  evidence  of  the  only  living 
man,  except  the  King,  who  was  present  at  the  central 
point  of  the  occurrences.  That  this  man  was  a  most 
false  and  evasive  character,  that  he  was  doubtless 
amenable  to  bribes,  that  he  was  richly  rewarded,  I 
freely  admit.  But  I  think  it  can  be  made  probable, 
by  evidence  hitherto  overlooked,  that  he  really  was 
present  on  the  crucial  occasion,  and  that,  with  all 
allowances  for  his  character  and  position,  his  testi- 
mony fits  into  the  facts,  while,  if  it  be  discarded, 
no  hypothesis  can  account  for  him,  and  his  part  in 
the  adventure.  In  short,  the  King's  tale,  almost 
incredible  as  it  appears,  contains  the  only  explanation 
which  is  not  demonstrably  impossible.  To  this  con- 
clusion, let  me  repeat,  I  am  drawn  by  no  sentiment 
for  that  unsentimental  Prince,  'gentle  King  Jamie.' 


He  was  not  the  man  to  tell  the  truth,  '  if  he  could 


think  of  anything  better.'  But,  where  other  corro- 
boration  is  impossible,  by  the  nature  of  the  circum- 
stances, facts  corroborate  the  King's  narrative.  His 
version  '  colligates  '  them  ;  though  extravagant  they 
become  not  incoherent.  No  other  hypothesis  pro- 
duces coherency  :  each  guess  breaks  down  on  de- 
monstrated facts. 




IN  the  month  of  August  1600  his  Majesty  the  King 
of  Scotland,  James,  sixth  of  that  name,  stood  in  more 
than  common  need  of  the  recreation  of  the  chase. 
Things  had  been  going  contrary  to  his  pleasure  in  all 
directions.  '  His  dearest  sister,'  Queen  Elizabeth  (as 
he  pathetically  said),  seemed  likely  '  to  continue  as 
long  as  Sun  or  Moon,'  and  was  in  the  worst  of  humours. 
Her  minister,  Cecil,  was  apparently  more  ill  disposed 
towards  the  Scottish  King  than  usual,  while  the 
minister's  rival,  the  Earl  of  Essex,  had  been  suggest- 
ing to  James  plans  for  a  military  demonstration  on 
the  Border.  Money  was  even  more  than  normally 
scarce  ;  the  Highlands  were  more  than  common  unruly  ; 
stories  of  new  conspiracies  against  the  King's  liberty 
were  flying  about ;  and,  above  all,  a  Convention  of  the 
Estates  had  just  refused,  in  June,  to  make  a  large 
grant  of  money  to  his  Majesty.  It  was  also  irritating 
that  an  old  and  trusted  servant,  Colonel  Stewart, 
wished  to  quit  the  country,  and  take  English  service 
against  the  Irish  rebels.  This  gentleman,  sixteen 
years  before,  had  been  instrumental  in  the  arrest  and 
execution  of  the  Earl  of  Gowrie  ;  the  new  young  Earl, 


son  of  the  late  peer,  had  just  returned  from  the  Con- 
tinent to  Scotland,  and  Colonel  Stewart  was  afraid 
that  Gowrie  might  wish  to  avenge  his  father.  There- 

O  o 

fore  he  desired  to  take  service  in  Ireland. 

With  all  these  frets,  the  King  needed  the  refresh- 
ment of  hunting  the  buck  in  his  park  of  Falkland. 
He  ordered  his  own  hunting  costume ;  it  was 
delivered  early  in  August,  and  (which  is  singular) 
was  paid  for  instantly.  Green  English  cloth  was 
the  basis  of  his  apparel,  and  five  ounces  of  silver 
decorated  his  second-best  '  socks.'  His  boots  had 
velvet  tops,  embroidered ;  his  best  '  socks '  were 
adorned  with  heavy  gold  embroidery;  he  even 
bought  a  new  horse.  His  gentlemen,  John  Eamsay, 
John  Murray,  George  Murray,  and  John  Auchmuty, 
were  attired,  at  the  Eoyal  expense,  in  coats  of  green 
cloth,  like  the  King.1 

Thus  equipped,  the  Eoyal  party  rose  early  on  the 
morning  of  Tuesday,  August  5,  left  the  pleasant 
house  of  Falkland,  with  its  strong  round  towers  that 


had  lately  protected  James  from  an  attack  by  his 
cousin,  wild  Frank  Stewart,  the  Earl  of  Bothwell ;  and 
rode  to  the  stables  in  the  park  ;  '  the  weather,'  says  his 
Majesty,  'being  wonderful  pleasant  and  seasonable.' 2 
'  All  the  jolly  hunt  was  there  ; '  '  Tell  True '  and  the 
other  hounds  were  yelping  at  the  limits  of  their 
leashes  ;  the  Duke  of  Lennox  and  the  Earl  of  Mar, 

1  Extracted  from  the  Treasurer's  Accounts,  July,  August,  1600.  MS. 

2  The  King's  Narrative,  Pitcairn's  Criminal  Trials  of  Scotland, 
ii.  210. 


friends  of  James  from  his  youth,  and  honourable 
men,  were  the  chief  nobles  in  the  crowd  ;  wherein 
were  two  or  three  of  the  loyal  family  of  Erskine, 
cousins  of  Mar,  and  a  Dr.  Herries,  remarkable  for  a 
club  foot. 

At  the  stables,  hacks  were  discarded,  hunters 
were  led  out,  men  were  mounting,  the  King  had  his 
foot  in  the  stirrup,  when  a  young  gentleman,  the 
Master  of  Euthven,  rode  swiftly  up  from  the  town  of 
Falkland.  He  had  trotted  over,  very  early,  from  the 
town  house,  at  Perth  (some  twelve  or  fourteen  miles 
away),  of  his  brother,  the  Earl  of  Gowrie.  He  was 
but  nineteen  years  of  age,  tall,  handsome,  and  brother 
of  the  Queen's  favourite  maid  of  honour,  Mrs. 
Beatrix  Euthven.  That  he  was  himself  one  of  the 
Gentlemen  of  the  Household  has  often  been  said,  but 
we  find  no  trace  of  money  spent  for  him  in  the 
Eoyal  accounts :  in  fact  he  had  asked  for  the  place, 
but  had  not  yet  obtained  it.1  However,  if  we  may 
believe  the  Eoyal  word  (which  is  a  matter  of  choice), 
James  '  loved  the  young  Master  like  a  brother.' 

The  Master  approached  the  King,  and  entered 
into  conversation  with  him.  James's  account  of  what 
he  had  to  say  must  be  given  later.  For  the  present 
we  may  be  content  with  the  depositions  on  oath, 
which  were  made  later,  at  a  trial  in  November,  by  the 
attendants  of  the  King  and  other  witnesses.  Among 
these  was  the  Duke  of  Lennox,  who  swore  to  the 
following  effect,  '-'hey  hunted  their  buck,  and  killed 

1  The  King's  Narrative,  ut  supra.    Treasurer's  Accounts,  MS. 


him.  The  King,  in  place  of  trotting  back  to  lunch  at 
the  House  of  Falkland  (to  which  the  progress  of  the 
chase  had  led  the  sportsmen  round  in  a  circle),  bade 
the  Duke  accompany  him  to  Perth,  some  twelve 
miles  away, '  to  speak  with  the  Earl  of  Gowrie.'  His 
Majesty  then  rode  on.  Lennox  despatched  his  groom 
for  his  sword,  and  for  a  fresh  horse  (another  was 
sent  after  the  King) ;  he  then  mounted  and  followed. 
When  he  rejoined  James,  the  King  said  '  You  cannot 
guess  what  errand  I  am  riding  for ;  I  am  going  to 
get  a  treasure  in  Perth.  The  Master  of  Euthven' 
('  Mr.  Alexander  Euthven ')  i  has  informed  me  that  he 
has  found  a  man  with  a  pitcher  full  of  gold  coins  of 
great  sorts.'  James  also  asked  Lennox  what  he 
deemed  of  the  Master,  whose  manner  he  reckoned 
very  strange.  'Nothing  but  an  honest,  discreet 
gentleman,'  said  the  Duke.  The  King  next  gave 
details  about  the  treasure,  and  Lennox  said  he 
thought  the  tale  '  unlikely,'  as  it  was,  more  or  less. 
James  then  bade  Lennox  say  nothing  on  the  matter 
to  Euthven,  who  wanted  it  to  be  a  secret.  At  about 
a  mile  from  Perth,  the  Master  galloped  forward,  to 
warn  his  brother,  the  Earl,  who  met  the  Eoyal  party, 
on  foot,  with  some  companions,  near  the  town.1  This 
was  about  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 

The  Eoyal  party,  of  thirteen  nobles  and  gentle- 
men, then  entered  the  Earl's  house.  It  faced  the 
street,  as  the  House  of  Falkland  also  does,  and,  at 
the  back,  had  gardens  running  down  to  the  Tay. 

1  Lennox  in  Pitcairn,  ii.  171-174. 



It  is  necessary  to  understand  the  situation  and 
topography  of  Gowrie  House.  Passing  down  South 
Street,  or  '  Shoe  Gait,'  the  chief  street  in  Perth,  then 
a  pretty  little  town,  you  found  it  crossed  at  right 
angles  by  a  street  called,  on  the  left,  Water  Gate,  on 
the  right,  Spey  Gate.  Immediately  fronting  you,  as 
you  came  to  the  end  of  South  Street,  was  the  gateway 

of  Gowrie  House,  the  garden  wall  continuing  towards 
your  right.  On  your  left  were  the  houses  in  Water 
Gate,  occupied  by  rich  citizens  and  lairds.  Many 
will  understand  the  position  if  they  fancy  themselves 
walking  down  one  of  the  streets  which  run  from  the 
High  Street,  at  Oxford,  towards  the  river.  You  then 
find  Merton  College  facing  you,  the  street  being 


continued  to  the  left  in  such  old  houses  as  Beam  Hall. 
The  £>'ate  of  Gowrie  House  fronted  you,  as  does  the 

o  »/ 

gate-tower  of  Merton,  and  led  into  a  quadrangle,  the 
front  court,  called  The  Close.  Behind  Gowrie  House 
was  the  garden,  and  behind  that  ran  the  river  Tay, 
as  the  Isis  flows  behind  Merton  and  Corpus.  Entering 
the  quadrangle  of  Gowrie  House  you  found,  on  your 
right  and  facing  you,  a  pile  of  buildings  like  an  inverted 
L  (i).  The  basement  was  occupied  by  domestic 
offices :  at  the  angle  of  the  "|  was  the  main  entrance. 
On  your  right,  and  much  nearer  to  you  than  the  main 
entrance,  a  door  opened  on  a  narrow  spiral  staircase, 
so  dark  that  it  was  called  the  Black  Turnpike. 

As  to  the  interior,  entering  the  main  doorway  you 
found  yourself  in  the  hall.  A  door  led  thence  into 
a  smaller  dining-room  on  the  left.  The  hall  itself 


had  a  door  and  external  stair  giving  on  the  garden 
behind.  The  chief  staircase,  which  vou  entered  from 


the  hall,  led  to  the  Great  Gallery,  built  and  decorated 
by  the  late  Earl.  This  extended  above  the  dining- 
room  and  the  hall,  and,  to  the  right,  was  separated 
by  a  partition  and  a  door  from  the  large  upstairs 
room  on  the  same  flat  called  '  The  Gallery  Chamber.' 
At  the  extremity  of  this  chamber,  on  the  left  hand  as 
vou  advanced,  was  a  door  leading  into  a  '  round,'  or 

«/  o 

turret,  or  little  circular-shaped  '  study,'  of  which  one 
window  seems  to  have  looked  to  the  gateway,  the 
other  to  the  street.  People  below  in  the  street 
could  see  a  man  looking  out  of  the  turret  window. 
A  door  in  the  gallery  chamber  gave  on  the  narrow 




'Jo  co 



staircase  called  '  The  Black  Turnpike,'  by  which  the 
upper  floor  might  be  reached  by  any  one  from  the 
quadrangle,  without  entering  the  main  door,  and 
going  up  the  broad  chief  staircase.  Thus,  to  quote  a 
poet  who  wrote  while  Gowrie  House  was  extant  (in 

The  Palace  kythes,  may  nam'd  be  Perth's  White  Hall 
With  orchards  like  these  of  Hesperides. 

The  palace  was  destroyed,  to  furnish  a  site  for  a 
gaol  and  county  buildings,  in  1807,  but  the  most 
interesting  parts  had  long  been  in  ruins.1 

In  1774,  an  antiquary,  Mr.  Cant,  writes  that  the 
palace,  after  the  Forty  Five,  was  converted  into 
artillery  barracks.  'We  see  nothing  but  the  remains 
of  its  former  grandeur.'  The  coats  of  arms  of  '  the 
nobility  and  gentlemen  of  fortune,'  who  dwelt  in  Spey 
Gate  and  Water  Gate,  were,  in  1774,  still  visible  on 
the  walls  of  their  houses.  A  fragment  of  the  old 
palace  is  said  to  exist  to-day  in  the  Gowrie  Inn.  Into 
this  palace  the  King  was  led  by  Gowrie :  he  was 
taken  to  the  dining  chamber  on  the  left  of  the  great 
hall ;  in  the  hall  itself  Lennox,  Mar,  and  the  rest  of 
the  retinue  waited  and  wearied,  for  apparently  no 
dinner  had  been  provided,  and  even  a  drink  for  his 
thirsty  Majesty  was  long  in  coming.  Gowrie  and 
the  Master  kept  going  in  and  out,  servants  were 

1  The  description  is  taken  from  diagrams  in  Pitcairn,  derived  from 
a  local  volume  of  Antiquarian  Proceedings.  See,  too,  The  Muses' 
Threnodie,  by  H.  Adamson,  1638,  with  notes  by  James  Cant  (Perth, 
1774),  pp.  163,  164. 


whispered  to,  and  Sir  Thomas  Erskine  sent  a 
townsman  to  buy  him  a  pair  of  green  silk  stockings 
in  Perth.1  He  wanted  to  dine  comfortably. 

Leaving  the  Kind's  retinue  in  the  hall,  and  the 

O  O  ' 

King  in  the  dining  chamber  off  the  hall,  we  may  note 
what,  up  to  this  point,  the  nobles  and  gentlemen  of 
the  suite  had  to  say,  at  the  trial  in  November,  about 
the  adventures  of  that  August  morning.  Mar  had 

O  O 

not  seen  the  Master  at  Falkland ;  after  the  kill  Mar 
did  not  succeed  in  rejoining  James  till  they  were 
within  two  or  three  miles  of  Perth. 

Drummond  of  Inchaffray  had  nodded  to  the 
Master,  at  Falkland,  before  the  Master  met  the  King 
at  the  stables.  He  later  saw  the  Master  in  confer- 
ence for  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  with  James,  out- 
side the  stables.  The  Master  then  left  the  King : 
Inchaffray  invited  him  to  bVeakfast,  but  he  declined, 
*  as  his  Majesty  had  ordered  him  to  wait  upon  him.' 
(According  to  other  evidence  he  had  already  break- 
fasted at  Falkland.)  Inchaffray  then  breakfasted  in 
Falkland  town,  and  next  rode  along  the  highway 
towards  his  own  house.  On  the  road  he  overtook 
Lennox,  Lindores,  Urchill,  Hamilton  of  Grange, 
Finlay  Taylor,  the  King,  and  the  Master,  riding 
Perthwards.  He  joined  them,  and  went  with  them 
into  Gowrie  House. 

Nobody  else,  among  the  witnesses,  did  anything 
but  agree  with  Lennox's  account  up  to  this  point. 
But  four  menials  of  James,  for  example,  a  cellarer 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  199. 

c  2 


and  a  porter,  were  at  Gowrie  House,  in  addition  to 
the  nobles  and  gentlemen  who  gave  this  evidence. 

To  return  to  Lennox's  tale  :  dinner  was  not  ready 
for  his  hungry  Majesty,  as  we  have  said,  till  an  hour 
after  his  arrival ;  was  not  ready,  indeed,  till  about  two 
o'clock.     He  had  obviously  not   been  expected,  or 
Gowrie  did  not  wish   it   to   be  known  that  he  was 
expected,  and  himself  had  dined  before  the  King's 
arrival,  between  twelve  and  one  o'clock.     A  shoulder 
of  mutton,  a  fowl,  and  a  solitary  grouse  were  all  that 
the  Earl's  caterer  could  procure,  except  cold  meat : 
obviously  a  poor  repast  to  set  before  a  king.     It  is 
said  that  the  Earl  had  meant  to  leave  Perth  in  the 
afternoon.     When  James  reached  the  stage  of  dessert, 
Gowrie,  who  had  waited  on  him,  entered  the  hall,  and 
invited  the  suite  to  dine.     When  they   had  nearly 
finished,  Gowrie  returned  to  them  in  the  hall,  and  sent 
round  a  grace-cup,  in  which  all  pledged  the  King. 
Lennox  then  rose,  to  rejoin  the  King  (who  now  passed, 
with  the  Master,   across   and  out   of  the  hall),  but 
Gowrie  said  'His  Majesty  was  gone  upstairs  quietly 
some  quiet  errand.'     Gowrie  then  called  for  the  key  of 
the  garden,  on  the  banks  of  the  Tay,  and  he,  Lindores, 
the  lame  Dr.  Herries,  and  others  went  into  the  gar- 
den, where,  one  of  them  tells  us,  they  ate  cherries. 
While  they  were  thus  engaged,  Gowrie's  equerry,  or 
master  stabler,  a  Mr.   Thomas  Cranstoun,  who  had 
been  long  in  France,  and  had  returned  thence  with 
the  Earl  in  April,  appeared,  crying,  '  The  King  has 
mounted,  and  is  riding  through  the  Inch,'  that  is,  the 


Inch  of  Perth,  where  the  famous  clan  battle  of  thirty 
men  a  side  had  been  fought  centuries  ago.  Gowrie 
shouted  '  Horses  !  horses  ! '  but  Cranstoun  said  '  Your 
horse  is  at  Scone,'  some  two  miles  off,  on  the  further 
side  of  the  Tay.  Why  the  Earl  that  day  kept  his 
horse  so  remote,  in  times  when  men  of  his  rank  sel- 
dom walked,  we  may  conjecture  later  (cf.  p.  86,  infra}. 

The  Earl,  however  (says  Lennox),  affected  not  to 
hear  Cranstoun,  and  still  shouted  '  Horses  ! '  He  and 
Lennox  then  passed  into  the  house,  through  to  the 
front  yard,  or  Close,  and  so  to  the  outer  gate,  giving 
on  the  street.  Here  Lennox  asked  the  porter, 
Christie,  if  the  King  had  gone.  The  porter  said 
he  was  certain  that  the  King  had  not  left  the  house. 
On  this  point  Lindores,  who  had  been  with  Gowrie 
and  Lennox  in  the  garden,  and  accompanied  them  to 
the  gate,  added  (as  indeed  Lennox  also  did)  that 
Gowrie  now  explained  to  the  porter  that  James  had 
departed  by  the  back  gate.  '  That  cannot  be,  my 
Lord,'  said  the  porter,  '  for  I  have  the  key  of  the 
back  gate.'  Andrew  Eay,  a  bailie  of  Perth,  who 
had  been  in  the  house,  looking  on,  told  the  same  tale, 
adding  that  Gowrie  gave  the  porter  the  lie.  The 
porter  corroborated  all  this  at  the  trial,  and  quoted 
his  own  speech  about  the  key,  as  it  was  given  by 
Lindores.  He  had  the  keys,  and  must  know  whether 
the  King  had  ridden  away  or  not. 

In  this  odd  uncertainty,  Gowrie  said  to  Lennox, 
4 1  am  sure  the  King  has  gone  ;  but  stay,  I  shall  go 
upstairs,  and  get  your  lordship  the  very  certainty.' 


Gowrie  thereon  went  from  the  street  door,  through 
the  court,  and  up  the  chief  staircase  of  the  house, 
whence  he  came  down  again  at  once,  and  anew 
affirmed  to  Lennox  that  '  the  King  was  forth  at  the 
back  gate  and  away.'  They  all  then  went  out  of  the 
front  gate,  and  stood  in  the  street  there,  talking,  and 
wondering  where  they  should  seek  for  his  Majesty. 

Where  was  the  King  ?  Here  we  note  a  circum- 
stance truly  surpiising.  It  never  occurred  to  the 
Earl  of  Gowrie,  when  dubiously  told  that  the  King 
had  6  loupen  on ' — and  ridden  off-  -to  ask,  Where  is 
the  King's  horse  ?  If  the  Eoyal  nag  was  in  the  Earl's 
stable,  then  James  had  not  departed.  Again — a  thing 
more  astonishing  still — it  has  never  occurred  to  any  of 
the  unnumbered  writers  on  the  Gowrie  conspiracy  to 
ask,  '  How  did  the  Earl,  if  guilty  of  falsehood  as  to 
the  King's  departure,  mean  to  get  over  the  difficulty 
about  the  King's  horse  ?  '  If  the  horse  was  in  the 
stable,  then  the  King  had  not  ridden  away,  as  the 
Earl  declared.  Gowrie  does  not  seem  to  have  kid- 
napped the  horse.  We  do  not  hear,  from  the  King, 
or  any  one,  that  the  horse  was  missing  when  the 
Eoyal  party  at  last  rode  home. 

The  author  is  bound,  in  honour,  to  observe  that 
this  glaring  difficulty  about  the  horse  did  not  occur  to 
him  till  he  had  written  the  first  draft  of  this  historical 
treatise,  after  reading  so  many  others  on  the  subject. 
And  yet  the  eagle  glance  of  Mr.  Sherlock  Holmes 
would  at  once  have  lighted  on  his  Majesty's  mount. 
However,  neither  at  the  time,  nor  in  the  last  three 


centuries  (as  far  as  we  know),  was  any  one  sensible 
enough  to  ask  '  How  about  the  King's  horse  ?  ' 

We  return  to  the  question,  '  Where  was  the 
King  ? ' 

Some  time  had  elapsed  since  he  passed  silently 
from  the  chamber  where  he  had  lunched,  through  the 
hall,  with  the  Master,  and  so  upstairs,  fi  going  quietly 
a  quiet  errand,'  Gowrie  had  explained  to  the  men 
of  the  retinue.  The  gentlemen  had  then  strolled  in 
the  garden,  till  Cranstoun  came  out  to  them  with  the 
news  of  the  King's  departure.  Young  John  Earn- 
say,  one  of  James's  gentlemen,  had  met  the  Laird  of 
Pittencrieff  in  the  hall,  and  had  asked  where  his 
Majesty  was.  Both  had  gone  upstairs,  had  examined 
the  fair  gallery  filled  with  pictures  collected  by  the  late 
Earl,  and  had  remained  '  a  certain  space  '  admiring  it. 
They  thence  went  into  the  front  yard,  the  Close,  where 
Cranstoun  met  them  and  told  them  that  the  King  had 
gone.  Instead  of  joining  the  gentlemen  whom  we 
left  loitering  and  wondering  outside  the  front  gate, 
on  the  street,  Eamsay  ran  to  the  stables  for  his  horse, 
he  said,  and,  as  he  waited  at  the  stable  door  (being 
further  from  the  main  entrance  than  Lennox,  Mar, 
and  the  rest),  he  heard  James's  voice,  'but  understood 
not  what  he  spake.' l 

The  others,  on  the  street,  just  outside  the  gate, 
being  nearer  the  house  than  Eamsay,  suddenly  heard 
the  King's  voice,  and  even  his  words.  Lennox  said  to 
Mar,  '  The  King  calls,  be  he  where  he  will.'  They  all 

1  The  evidence  of  these  witnesses  is  in  Pitcairn,  ii.  171-191. 


glanced  up  at  the  house,  and  saw,  says  Lennox,  '  his 
Majesty  looking  out  at  the  window,  hatless,  his  face 
red,  and  a  hand  gripping  his  face  and  mouth.'  The 
King  called  :  '  I  am  murdered.  Treason  !  My  Lord 
of  Mar,  help,  help  ! '  Mar  corroborated  :  InchafFray 
saw  the  King  vanish  from  the  window,  '  and  in  his 
judgment,  his  Majesty  was  pulled,  perforce,  in  at 
the  same  window.'  Bailie  Bay  of  Perth  saw  the 
window  pushed  up,  saw  the  King's  face  appear,  and 
heard  his  cries.  Murray  of  Arbany,  who  had  come 
to  Perth  from  another  quarter,  heard  the  King. 
Murray  seems  to  have  been  holding  the  King's  falcon 
on  his  wrist,  in  hall ;  he  had  later  handed  the  bird  to 
young  Eamsay. 

On  beholding  this  vision  of  the  King,  hatless, 
red -faced,  vociferous,  and  suddenly  vanishing,  most 
of  his  lords  and  gentlemen,  and  Murray  of  Arbany, 
rushed  through  the  gate,  through  the  Close,  into  the 
main  door  of  the  house,  up  the  broad  staircase, 
through  the  long  fair  gallery,  and  there  they  were 
stopped  by  a  locked  door.  They  could  not  reach  the 
King !  Finding  a  ladder,  they  used  it  as  a  battering- 
ram,  but  it  broke  in  their  hands.  They  sent  for 
hammers,  and  during  some  half  an  hour  they 
thundered  at  the  door,  breaking  a  hole  in  a  panel, 
but  unable  to  gain  admission. 

Now  these  facts,  as  to  the  locked  door,  and  the 
inability  of  most  of  the  suite  to  reach  the  King,  are 
denied  by  no  author.  They  make  it  certain  that,  if 
James  had  contrived  a  plot  against  the  two  Euthvens, 


he  had  not  taken  his  two  nobles,  Mar  and  Lennox, 
and  these  other  gentlemen,  and  Murray  of  Arbany, 
into  the  scheme.  He  had  not  even  arranged  that 
another  of  his  retinue  should  bring  them  from  their 
futile  hammer-work,  to  his  assistance,  by  another 

For  there  was  another  way.  Young  Eamsay  was 
not  with  Lennox  and  the  rest,  when  they  saw  and 
heard  the  flushed  and  excited  King  cry  out  of  the 
window.  Eamsay,  he  says,  was  further  off  than  the 
rest ;  was  at  the  stable  door  :  he  heard  and  recognised 
James's  voice,  but  saw  nothing  of  him,  and  distin- 
guished no  words.  He  ran  into  the  front  yard, 
through  the  outer  gate.  Lennox  and  the  rest  had 
already  vanished  within  the  house.  Eamsay  noticed 
the  narrow  door  in  the  wall  of  the  house,  giving  on 
the  quadrangle,  and  nearer  him  than  the  main  door 
of  entrance,  to  reach  which  he  must  cross  the  quad- 
rangle diagonally.  He  rushed  into  the  narrow  door- 
way, ran  up  a  dark  corkscrew  staircase,  found  a  door 
at  the  top,  heard  a  struggling  and  din  of  men's  feet 
within,  '  dang  open '  the  door,  caught  a  glimpse  of 
a  man  behind  the  King's  back,  and  saw  James  and 
the  Master  '  wrestling  together  in  each  other's 

James  had  the  Master's  head  under  his  arm,  the 
Master,  '  almost  upon  his  knees,'  had  his  hand  on  the 
King's  face  and  mouth.  '  Strike  him  low,'  cried  the 
King,  '  because  he  wears  a  secret  mail  doublet ' — 
such  as  men  were  wont  to  wear  on  a  doubtful  though 


apparently  peaceful  occasion,  like  a  Warden's  Day 
on  the  Border.  Eamsay  threw  down  the  King's 
falcon,  which  he  had  taken  from  Murray  and  bore  on 
his  wrist,  drew  his  dagger  or  couteau  de  chasse,  and 
struck  the  Master  on  the  face  and  neck.  The  King 
set  his  foot  on  the  falcon's  leash,  and  so  held  it. 
Ramsay  might  have  spared  and  seized  the  Master, 
instead  of  wounding  him  ;  James  later  admitted  that, 
but  '  Man,'  he  said,  '  I  had  neither  God  nor  the  Devil 
before  me,  but  my  own  defence.'  Remember  that 
hammers  were  thundering  on  a  door  hard  by,  and 
that  neither  James  nor  Ramsay  knew  who  knocked 
so  loud — enemies  or  friends. 

The  King  then,  says  Ramsay,  pushed  the  wounded 
Master  down  the  steep  narrow  staircase  up  which  the 
young  man  had  run.  The  man  of  whom  Ramsay  had 
caught  a  glimpse,  standing  behind  the  King,  had 
vanished  like  a  wraith.  Ramsay  went  to  a  window, 
looked  out,  and,  seeing  Sir  Thomas  Erskine,  cried, 
'  Come  up  to  the  top  of  the  staircase.' 

Where  was   Erskine,    and   what   was  he  doing? 


He  had  not  followed  Lennox  and  Mar  in  their  rush 
back  into  the  house.  On  hearing  James's  cries  from 
the  window,  he  and  his  brother  had  tried  to  seize 
Gowrie,  who  had  been  with  the  party  of  Lennox  and 
Mar.  If  James  was  in  peril,  within  Gowrie's  house, 
they  argued,  naturally,  that  Gowrie  was  responsible. 
JSTot  drawing  sword  or  dagger — daggers,  indeed,  they 
had  none- -the  two  Erskine  brothers  rushed  on  Gow- 
rie, who  was  crying  '  What  is  the  matter  ?  I  know 


nothing  ! '  They  bore  him,  or  nearly  bore  him,  to  the 
ground,  but  his  retainers  separated  the  stragglers,  and 
one,  a  Euthven,  knocked  Sir  Thomas  down  with  his 
fist.  The  knight  arose,  and  ran  into  the  front  court, 
where  Dr.  Herries  asked  him  '  what  the  matter 
meant.  '  At  this  moment  Erskine  heard  Ramsay  cry 
'  Come  up  here,'  from  the  top  of  the  narrow  dark 
staircase,  he  says,  not  from  the  window ;  Eamsay 
may  have  called  from  both.  Erskine,  who  was 
accompanied  by  the  lame  Dr.  Herries,  and  by  a 
menial  of  his  brother's  named  Wilson,  found  the 
bleeding  Master  near  the  foot  of  the  stair,  and  shouted 
6  This  is  the  traitor,  strike  him.'  The  stricken  lad  fell, 
saying,  '  Alas,  I  had  not  the  wyte  of  it,'  and  the 
three  entered  the  chamber  where  now  were  only  the 
King  and  Eamsay.  Words,  not  very  intelligible  as 
reported  by  Erskine  (we  consider  them  later),  passed 
between  him  and  the  King.  Though  Erskine  does 
not  say  so,  they  shut  James  up  in  the  turret  opening 
into  the  chamber  where  they  were,  and  instantly 
Cranstoun,  the  Earl's  equerry,  entered  with  a  drawn 
sword,  followed  by  Gowrie,  with  '  two  swords,'  while 
some  other  persons  followed  Gowrie. 

Where  had  Gowrie  been  since  the  two  Erskines 
tried  to  seize  him  in  the  street,  and  were  separated 
from  him  by  a  throng  of  his  retainers  ?  Why  was 
Gowrie,  whose  honour  was  interested  in  the  King's 
safety,  later  in  reaching  the  scene  than  Erskine,  the 
limping  Dr.  Herries,  and  the  serving  man,  Wilson  ? 
The  reason  appears  to  have  been  that,  after  the  two 


Erskines  were  separated  from  Gowrie,  Sir  Thomas 
ran  straight  from  the  street,  through  the  gateway, 
into  the  front  court  of  the  house,  meeting,  in  the 
court,  Dr.  Herries,  who  was  slow  in  his  movements. 
But  Gowrie,  on  the  other  hand,  was  detained  by 
certain  of  Tullibardine's  servants,  young  Tullibardine 
being  present.  This,  at  least,  was  the  story  given 
under  examination  by  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun,  Gow- 
rie's  master  stabler,  while  other  witnesses  mention 
that  Gowrie  became  involved  in  a  struggle,  and  went 
'  back  from '  his  house,  further  up  or  down  the 
street.  Young  Tullibardine,  present  at  this  fray,  was 
the  heir  of  Murray  of  Tullibardine,  and  ancestor,  in 
the  male  line,  of  the  present  Duke  of  Atholl.  He 
later  married  a  niece  of  the  Earl  of  Gowrie.  His 
father  being  a  man  of  forty  in  1600,  young 
Tullibardine  must  have  been  very  young  indeed. 
The  Murrays  were  in  Perth  on  the  occasion  of  the 
marriage  of  one  of  their  clan,  an  innkeeper. 

Some  of  their  party  were  in  the  street,  and  seeing 
an  altercation  in  which  two  of  the  King's  gentlemen 
were  prevented  from  seizing  Gowrie,  they  made  an 
ineffectual  effort  to  capture  the  Earl.  Gowrie  ran 
from  them  along;  the  street,  and  there  '  drew  his  two 

O  ~ 

swords  out  of  one  scabbard,'  says  Cranstoun.1  The 
Earl  had  just  arrived  in  Scotland  from  Italy,  where 
he  had  acquired  the  then  fashionable  method  of 
fencing  with  twin-swords,  worn  in  a  single  scabbard. 

1  Cranstoun's  deposition  in  Pitcairn,  ii.  156,  157.      At  Falkland 
August  6. 


Gowrie,  then,  had  retreated  from  the  Hurrays  to  the 
house  of  one  Macbreck,  as  Cranstoun  and  Macbreck 
himself  declared.  Cranstoun  too  drew  his  sword,  and 
let  his  cloak  fall,  asking  Gowrie  '  what  the  fray  was.' 
The  Earl  said  that  '  he  would  enter  his  own  house,  or 
die  by  the  way.'  Cranstoun  said  that  he  would  go 
foremost, 6  but  at  whom  should  he  strike,  for  he  knew 
not  who  was  the  enemy  ? '  He  had  only  seen  the 
Erskines  collar  Gowrie,  then  certain  Murray s  in- 
terfere, and  he  was  entirely  puzzled.  Gowrie  did 
not  reply,  and  the  pair  advanced  to  the  door  of  the 
house  through  a  perplexed  throng.  A  servant  of 
Gowrie's  placed  a  steel  cap  on  his  head,  and  with 
some  four  or  five  of  Gowrie's  friends  (Hew  Moncrieff, 
Alexander  Euthven,  Harrv  Euthven,  and  Patrick 


Eviot)  the  Earl  and  Cranstoun  entered  the  front 

Here  Cranstoun  saw  the  body  of  a  man,  whether 
dead  or  wounded  he    knew  not,  lyin«;   at  '  the  old 

«/         <_? 

turnpike  door,'  the  entry  to  the  dark  narrow 
staircase  up  which  Eamsay  had  run  to  the  King's 
rescue.  '  Who  lies  there  ?  '  asked  Cranstoun.  Gowrie 
only  replied, '  Up  the  stair  !  '  Cranstoun  led  the  way, 
Gowrie  came  next ;  the  other  four  must  have  followed, 
for  several  witnesses  presently  saw  them  come  down 
again,  wounded  and  bleeding.  Cranstoun  found 
Erskine,  Eamsay,  and  Herries  with  drawn  swords  in 
the  chamber.  The  King,  then  in  the  turret,  he  did 
not  see.  He  taunted  Herries  ;  Eamsay  and  Gowrie 
crossed  swords ;  Cranstoun  dealt,  he  says,  with 


Herries,  Erskine,  and  perhaps  Wilson.  But,  though 
Cranstoun  '  nowise  knew  who  followed  him,'  the  four 
men  already  named,  two  Euthvens,  a  MoncriefF,  and 
Eviot,  were  in  the  fray,  though  there  was  some 
uncertainty  about  Eviot.1 

The  position  of  the  King,  at  this  moment,  was 
unenviable.  He  was  shut  up  in  the  little  round  turret 
room.  On  the  other -side  of  the  door,  in  the  chamber, 
swords  were  clashing,  feet  were  stamping.  James 
knew  that  he  had  four  defenders,  one  of  them  a 
lame  medical  man ;  who  or  how  many  their  oppo- 
nents might  be,  he  could  not  know.  The  air  rang 
with  the  thunder  of  hammers  on  the  door  of  the 
chamber  where  the  fight  raged  ;  were  they  wielded 
by  friends  or  enemies  ?  From  the  turret  window  the 
King  could  hear  the  town  bell  ringing,  and  see  the 
gathering  of  the  burgesses  of  Perth,  the  friends  of 
their  Provost,  Gowrie.  We  know  that  they  could 
easily  muster  eight  hundred  armed  men.  Which  side 
would  they  take  ?  The  Murrays,  as  we  saw,  had 
done  nothing,  except  that  some  of  them  had  crowded 
round  Gowrie.  Meanwhile  there  was  clash  of  steel, 
stamping  of  feet,  noise  of  hammers,  while  the  King, 
in  the  turret,  knew  not  how  matters  were  going. 

Cranstoun  only  saw  his  own  part  of  the  fight  in 
the  chamber.  How  Eamsay  and  Gowrie  sped  in 
their  duel  he  knew  not.  Eamsay,  he  says,  turned 

1  The  adversaries  of  the  King  say  that  these  men  ran  up,  and  were 
wounded,  later,  in  another  encounter.  As  to  this  we  have  no  evidence, 
but  we  have  evidence  of  their  issuing,  wounded,  from  the  dark  stair- 
case at  the  moment  when  Cranstoun  fled  thence. 


on  him,  and  ran  him  through  the  body ;  Herries  also 
struck  him.  Of  Gowrie  he  saw  nothing  ;  he  fled, 
when  wounded,  down  the  turret  stair,  his  companions 
following  or  preceding  him.  Gowrie,  in  fact,  had 
fallen,  leaving  Bamsay  free  to  deal  with  Cranstoun. 
Writers  of  both  parties  declare  that  Bamsay  had 
cried  to  Gowrie,  '  You  have  slain  the  Kinsr !  '  that 


Gowrie  dropped  his  points,  and  that  Bamsay  lunged 
and  ran  him  through  the  body.  Erskine  says 
that  he  himself  was  wounded  in  the  right  hand 
by  Cranstoun ;  Herries  lost  two  fingers.  When 
Bamsay  ran  Gowrie  through,  the  Earl,  says  Erskine, 
fell  into  the  arms  of  a  man  whom  he  himself  knew 
not ;  Gowrie's  party  retreated,  but  it  seems  they 
returned  to  the  head  of  the  narrow  staircase,  and 
renewed  hostilities  by  pushing  swords  and  halberts 
under  the  narrow  staircase  door.  This  appears  from 
the  evidence  of  Lennox. 

After  pounding  at  the  door  so  long,  Lennox's 
party  at  last  sent  Bobert  Brown  (a  servant  of 
James's,  who  had  brought  the  hammers)  round 
to  discover  another  way  of  reaching  the  King. 
Brown,  too,  now  went  up  the  narrow  staircase,  and 
in  the  gallery  chamber  he  found  the  King,  with 
Herries,  Erskine,  Bamsay,  Wilson,  and  the  dead 
Earl.  He  reassured  James ;  the  hammerers  were 
his  friends.  They  handed,  says  Lennox,  one  of  the 
hammers  to  the  King's  party,  through  a  shattered 
panel,  '  and  they  within  broke  the  doors,  and  gave 
them  entry.'  At  this  time,  halberts  and  swords  were 


being  struck,  by  Gowrie's  retainers,  under  the  door, 
and  through  the  sides  of  the  door,  of  the  chamber ; 
this  door  apparently  being  that  from  the  chamber 
to  the  narrow  staircase.  Murray  of  Arbany  (who 
had  come  into  the  house  at  the  end  of  dinner)  was 
stricken  through  the  leg  by  one  of  these  weapons. 
Deacon  Ehynd  of  Perth  saw  Hew  Moncrieff  striking 
with  '  a  Jeddart  staff,'  a  kind  of  lialbert.  A  voice, 
that  of  Alexander  Euthven  (a  cousin  of  the  fallen 
Earl),  cried  '  For  God's  sake,  my  lord,  tell  me  how 
the  Earl  of  Gowrie  does.'  '  He  is  well.  Go  your 
way  ;  you  are  a  fool ;  you  will  get  no  thanks  for  this 
labour,'  answerad  Lennox,  and  all  was  silence. 
Alexander  Euthven  and  the  rest  retreated  ;  Euthven 
rushed  to  the  town,  rousing  the  people,  and  rifling 
shops  in  search  of  gunpowder.  The  King  and  the 
nobles  knelt  in  prayer  on  the  bloody  floor  of  the 
chamber  where  the  dead  Gowrie  lay.  For  some 
time  the  confused  mob  yelled  outside,  shaking  their 
fists  at  the  King's  party  in  the  window  :  men  and 
women  crying  '  Come  down,  Green-coats,  ye  have 
committed  murder  !  Bloody  butchers !  '  Others 
cried  '  The  Kin^  is  shot ! '  The  exits  of  the  house 


were   guarded    by   retainers    of    Gowrie — Eentoul, 
Bissett,  and  others. 

Mar  and  Lennox,  from  the  window,  explained  to 
the  mob  that  the  King  was  well.  James  showed 
himself,  the  magistrates  and  nobles  pacified  the 
people,  who,  some  armed,  some  unarmed,  were  all 
perplexed,  whether  they  were  anxious  about  the 








King  or  about  their  Provost,  the  Earl.  From  the 
evidence  of  scores  of  burghers,  it  appears  that  the 
tumult  did  not  last  long.  One  man  was  reaping 
in  the  Morton  haugh.  Hearing  the  town  bell  he 
hastened  in,  '  when  all  the  tumult  was  ceased,'  and 
the  magistrates,  Eay  and  others,  were  sending  the 
people  to  their  houses,  as  also  did  young  Tullibardine. 
A  baker,  hearing  the  bell,  went  to  the  town  cross, 
and  so  to  Gowrie's  house,  where  he  met  the  stream 
of  people  coming  away.  Another  baker  was  at 
work,  and  stayed  with  his  loaves,  otherwise  he  '  would 
have  lost  his  whole  baking.'  The  King  represents  that 
it  was  between  seven  and  eight  in  the  evening  before 
matters  were  quiet  enough  for  him  to  ride  home  to 
Falkland,  owing  to  the  tumult.  The  citizens  doubt- 
less minimised,  and  James  probably  exaggerated,  the 
proportions  and  duration  of  the  disturbance. 

This  version  of  that  strange  affair,  the  slaughter 
of  the  Euthvens,  is  taken  entirely  from  the  lips  of 
sworn  witnesses.  We  still  know  no  more  than  we 
did  as  to  what  passed  between  the  moment  when 
James  and  the  Master,  alone,  left  the  dining  chamber, 
and  the  moment  when  the  Kino*  cried  '  Treason ! '  out 


of  the  turret  window. 

The  problem  is,  had  James  lured  the  Master  to 
Falkland  for  the  purpose  of  accompanying  him  back 
to  Perth,  as  if  by  the  Master's  invitation,  and  of  there 
craftily  begetting  a  brawl,  in  which  Gowrie  and  the 
Master  should  perish  at  the  hands  of  Earn  say?  Or 
had  the  Master,  with  or  without  his  brother's  know- 



ledge,  lured  James  to  Perth  for  some  evil  end  ?  The 
question  divided  Scotland  ;  France  and  England  were 
sceptical  as  to  the  King's  innocence.  Our  best 
historians,  like  Mr.  Hill  Burton  and  Mr.  Tytler,  side 
with  the  King ;  others  are  dubious,  or  believe  that 
James  was  the  conspirator,  and  that  the  Euthvens 
were  innocent  victims. 



So  far  we  have  not  gained  any  light  on  the  occur- 
rences of  the  mysterious  interval  between  the 
moment  when  the  King  and  Alexander  Euthven 
passed  alone  through  the  hall,  after  dinner,  up  the 
great  staircase,  and  the  moment  when  the  King  cried 
'  Treason  ! '  out  of  the  turret  window.  In  the  nature 
of  the  case,  the  Master  being  for  ever  silent,  only 
James  could  give  evidence  on  the  events  of  this 
interval,  James  and  one  other  man,  of  whose  presence 
in  the  turret  we  have  hitherto  said  little,  as  only 
one  of  the  witnesses  could  swear  to  having  seen  a 
man  there,  none  to  having  seen  him  escaping  thence, 
or  in  the  tumult.  Now  the  word  of  James  was  not 
to  be  relied  on,  any  more  than  that  of  the  unequalled 
Elizabeth.  If  we  take  the  King's  word  in  this  case, 
it  is  from  no  prejudice  in  his  favour,  but  merely 
because  his  narrative  seems  best  to  fit  the  facts  as 
given  on  oath  by  men  like  Lennox,  Mar,  and  other 
witnesses  of  aU  ranks.  It  also  fits,  with  discrepancies 
to  be  noted,  the  testimony  of  the  other  man,  the  man 
who  professed  to  have  been  with  the  Master  and  the 

King  in  the  turret. 

D   2 


The  evidence  of  that  other  man  was  also  subject, 
for  reasons  which  will  appear  presently,  to  the 
gravest  suspicion.  James,  if  himself  guilty  of  the 
plot,  had  to  invent  a  story  to  excuse  himself;  the 
other  man  had  to  adopt  the  version  of  the  King,  to 
save  his  own  life  from  the  gibbet.  On  the  other 
hand,  James,  if  innocent,  could  not  easily  have  a 
credible  story  to  tell.  If  the  Master  was  sane,  it  was 
hardly  credible  that,  as  James  averred,  he  should 
menace  the  King  with  murder,  in  his  brother's  house, 
with  no  traceable  preparations  either  for  night  or  for 
armed  resistance.  In  James's  narrative  the  Master 
is  made  at  least  to  menace  the  King  with  death. 
However  true  the  King's  story  might  be,  his  adver- 
saries, the  party  of  the  Kirk  and  the  preachers,  would 
never  accept  it.  In  Lennox's  phrase  they  '  liked  it 
not,  because  it  was  not  likely.'  Emphatically  it  was 
not  likely,  but  the  contradictory  story  put  forward 
by  the  Euthven  apologist,  as  we  shall  see,  was  not 
only  improbable,  but  certainly  false. 

There  was  living  at  that  time  a  certain  Mr.  David 
Calderwood,  a  young  Presbyterian  minister,  aged 
twenty-five.  He  was  an  avid  collector  of  rumour,  of 
talk,  and  of  actual  documents,  and  his  '  History  of 
the  Kirk  of  Scotland,'  composed  at  a  much  later  date, 
is  wonderfully  copious  and  accurate.  As  it  was  im- 
possible for  King  James  to  do  anything  at  which 
Calderwood  did  not  carp,  assigning  the  worst  imagin- 
able motives  in  every  case,  we  shall  find  in  Calderwood 
the  sum  of  contemporary  hostile  criticism  of  his 


Majesty's  narrative.  But  the  criticism  is  negative. 
Calderwood's  critics  only  pick  holes  in  the  King's 
narrative,  but  do  not  advance  or  report  any  other 
explanation  of  the  events,  any  complete  theory  of  the 
King's  plot  from  the  Euthven  side.  Any  such  story, 
any  such  hypothesis,  must  be  to  the  full  as  impro- 
bable as  the  King's  narrative. 

There  is  nothing  probable  in  the  whole  affair  ; 
every  system,  every  hypothesis  is  difficile  a  croire. 
Yet  the  events  did  occur,  and  we  cannot  reject 
James's  account  merely  because  it  is  '  unlikely.'  The 
improbabilities,  however,  were  enormously  increased 
by  the  King's  theory  that  the  Euthvens  meant  to 
murder  him.  This  project  (not  borne  out  by  the 
King's  own  version  of  Euthven's  conduct)  would  have 
been  insane  :  the  Euthvens,  by  murdering  James, 
would  have  roused  the  whole  nation  and  the  Kirk 
itself  against  them.  But  if  their  object  was  to  kidnap 
James,  to  secure  his  person,  to  separate  him  from 
his  Ministers  (who  were  either  secretly  Catholics,  or 
Iiidifferents),  and  to  bring  in  a  new  administration 
favourable  to  Kirk,  or  Church,  then  the  Euthvens  were 
doing  what  had  several  times  been  done,  and  many 
times  attempted.  James  had  been  captured  before, 
even  in  his  own  palace,  while  scores  of  other  plots, 
to  take  him,  for  instance,  when  hunting  in  Falkland 
woods,  remote  from  his  retinue,  had  been  recentlv 


planned,  and  had  failed.  To  kidnap  the  King  was 
the  commonest  move  in  politics  ;  but  as  James  thought, 
or  said,  that  the  idea  at  Gowrie  House  was  to  murder 


him,  his  tale,  even  if  true,  could  not  be  easily 

The  first  narrative  was  drawn  up  at  Falkland 
in  the  night  of  August  5.  Early  on  August  6  the 
letter  reached  the  Chancellor  in  Edinburgh,  and  the 
contents  of  the  letter  were  repeated  orally  by  the 
Secretary  of  State  (Elphinstone,  later  Lord  Balmerino) 
to  Nicholson,  the  English  resident  at  the  Court  of 
Holyrood.  Nicholson  on  the  same  day  reported  what 
he  remembered  of  what  the  Secretary  remembered 
of  the  Falkland  letter,  to  Cecil.  Yet  though  at  third 
hand  Nicholson's  written  account  of  the  Falkland 
letter  of  August  5 l  contains  the  same  version  as  James 
later  published,  with  variations  so  few  and  so  unes- 
sential that  it  is  needless  to  dwell  upon  them,  they 
may  safely  be  attributed  to  the  modifications  which  a 
story  must  suffer  in  passing  through  the  memories  of 
two  persons.  Whatever  the  amount  of  truth  in  his 
narrative,  the  King  had  it  ready  at  once  in  the  form 
to  which  he  adhered,  and  on  which  he  voluntarily 
underwent  severe  cross-examination,  on  oath,  by 
Mr.  Eobert  Bruce,  one  of  the  Edinburgh  ministers  ;  a 
point  to  which  we  return. 

James  declares  in  a  later  narrative  printed  and 
published  about  the  end  of  August  1600,  that  the 
Master,  when  he  first  met  him  at  Falkland,  made  a 
very  low  bow,  which  was  not  his  habit.  The  Master 

1  Quoted  by  Pitcairn,  ii.  209.  The  Falkland  letter,  as  we  show 
later,  was  probably  written  by  David  Moysie,  but  must  have  been, 
more  or  less,  '  official.'  Cf.  p.  100,  infra. 


then  said  (their  conference,  we  saw,  occupied  a 
quarter  of  an  hour)  that,  while  walking  alone  on  the 
previous  evening,  he  had  met  a  cloaked  man  carrying 
a  great  pot,  full  of  gold  in  large  coined  pieces. 
Euthven  took  the  fellow  secretly  to  Gowrie  House, 
'  locked  him  in  a  privy  derned  house,  and,  after  locking 
many  doors  on  him,  left  him  there  and  his  pot  with 

It  might  be  argued  that,  as  the  man  was  said  to 
be  locked  in  a  house,  and  as  James  was  not  taken 
out  of  Gowrie  House  to  see  him,  James  must  have 
known  that,  when  he  went  upstairs  with  the  Master, 
he  was  not  going  to  see  the  prisoner.  The  error 
here  is  that,  in  the  language  of  the  period,  a  house 
often  means  a  room,  or  chamber.  It  is  so  used  by 
James  elsewhere  in  this  very  narrative,  and  endless 
examples  occur  in  the  letters  and  books  of  the 

Euthven  went  on  to  explain,  what  greatly  needed 
explanation,  that  he  had  left  Perth  so  early  in  the 
morning  that  James  might  have  the  first  knowledge 
of  this  secret  treasure,  concealed  hitherto  even  from 
Gowrie.  James  objected  that  he  had  no  right  to  the 
gold,  which  was  not  treasure  trove.  Euthven  replied 
that,  if  the  King  would  not  take  it,  others  would. 
James  now  began  to  suspect,  very  naturally,  that  the 
gold  was  foreign  coin.  Indeed,  what  else  could  it  well 
be  ?  Coin  from  France,  Italy,  or  Spain,  brought  in  often 
by  political  intriguers,  was  the  least  improbable  sort  of 
minted  gold  to  be  found  in  poor  old  Scotland.  In  the 


troubles  of  1592-1596  the  supplies  of  the  Catholic 
rebels  were  in  Spanish  money,  whereof  some  was  likely 
enough  to  be  buried  by  the  owners.  James,  then, 
fancied  that  Jesuits  or  others  had  brought  in  gold 
for  seditious  purposes,  '  as  they  have  ofttimes  done 
before.'  Sceptics  of  the  period  asked  how  one  pot  of 
gold  could  cause  a  sedition.  The  question  is  puerile. 
There  would  be  more  gold  where  the  potful  came 
from,  if  Catholic  intrigues  were  in  the  air.  James 
then  asked  the  Master  '  what  kind  of  coin  it  was.' 
6  They  seemed  to  be  foreign  and  uncouth  '  (unusual) 
'  strokes  of  coin,'  said  Euthven,  and  the  man,  he  added, 
was  a  stranger  to  him. 

James  therefore  suspected  that  the  man  might  be 
a  disguised  Scottish  priest :  the  few  of  them  then  in 
Scotland  always  wore  disguises,  as  they  tell  us  in 
their  reports  to  their  superiors.1  The  King's  infer- 
ences as  to  popish  plotters  were  thus  inevitable, 
though  he  may  have  emphasised  them  in  his  narrative 
to  conciliate  the  preachers.  His  horror  of  '  practising 
Papists,'  at  this  date,  was  unfeigned.  He  said  to  the 
Master  that  he  could  send  a  servant  with  a  warrant 
to  Growrie  and  the  magistrates  of  Perth  to  take  and 
examine  the  prisoner  and  his  hoard.  Contemporaries 
asked  why  he  did  not  '  commit  the  credit  of  this 
matter  to  another.'  James  had  anticipated  the 
objection.  He  did  propose  this  course,  but  Euthven 
replied  that,  if  others  once  touched  the  money,  the 

1  Many  of  these  may  be  read  in  Narratives  of  Scottish  CatJiolics, 
by  Father  Forbes-Leith,  S.J. 


King  '  would  get  a  very  bad  account  made  to  him  of 
that  treasure.'  He  implored  his  Majesty  to  act  as 
he  advised,  and  not  to  forget  him  afterwards.  This 
suggestion  may  seem  mean  in  Euthven,  but  the  age 
was  not  disinterested,  nor  was  Euthven  trying  to 
persuade  a  high-souled  man.  The  King  was  puzzled 
and  bored,  '  the  morning  was  fair,  the  game  already 
found,'  the  monarch  was  a  keen  sportsman,  so  he 
said  that  he  would  think  the  thing  over  and  answer 
at  the  end  of  the  hunt. 

Granting  James's  notorious  love  of  disentangling 
a  mystery,  granting  his  love  of  money,  and  of  hunt- 
ing, I  agree  with  Mr.  Tytler  in  seeing  nothing  im- 
probable in  this  narration.  If  the  Master  wanted  to 
lure  the  King  to  Perth,  I  cannot  conceive  a  better 
device  than  the  tale  which,  according  to  the  King,  he 
told.  The  one  improbable  point,  considering  the 
morals  of  the  country,  was  that  Euthven  should 
come  to  James,  in  place  of  sharing  the  gold  with  his 
brother.  But  Euthven,  we  shall  see,  had  possibly 
good  reasons,  known  to  James,  for  conciliating  the 
Eoyal  favour,  and  for  keeping  his  brother  ignorant. 
Moreover,  to  seize  the  money  would  not  have  been  a 
safe  thing  for  Euthven  to  do ;  the  story  would  have 
leaked  out,  questions  would  have  been  asked.  James 
had  hit  on  the  only  plausible  theory  to  account 
for  a  low  fellow  with  a  pot  of  gold;  he  must  be 
'  a  practising  Papist.'  James  could  neither  suppose, 
nor  expect  others  to  believe  that  he  supposed,  one 
pot  of  foreign  gold  enough  '  to  bribe  the  country  into 


rebellion.'  But  the  pot,  and  the  prisoner,  supplied 
a  clue  worth  following.  Probabilities  strike  different 
critics  in  different  ways.  Mr.  Tytler  thinks  James's 
tale  true,  and  that  he  acted* in  character.  That  is  my 
opinion  ;  his  own  the  reader  must  form  for  himself. 

Euthven  still  protested.  This  hunt  of  gold  was 
well  worth  a  buck!  The  prisoner,  he  said,  might 
attract  attention  by  his  cries,  a  very  weak  argument, 
but  Euthven  was  quite  as  likely  to  invent  it  on  the 
spur  of  the  moment,  as  James  was  to  attribute  it  to 
him  falsely,  on  cool  reflection.  Finally,  if  James 
came  at  once,  Gowrie  would  then  be  at  the  preaching 
(Tuesdays,  Thursdays,  and  Sundays  were  preaching 
days),  and  the  Eoyal  proceedings  with  the  captive 
would  be  undisturbed. 

Now,  on  the  hypothesis  of  intended  kidnapping, 
this  was  a  well-planned  affair.  If  James  accepted 
Euthven' s  invitation,  he,  with  three  or  four  servants, 
would  reach  Gowrie  House  while  the  town  of  Perth 
was  quiet.  Nothing  would  be  easier  than  to  seclude 
him,  seize  his  person,  and  transport  him  to  the  sea- 
side, either  by  Tay,  or  down  the  north  bank  of  that 
river,  or  in  disguise  across  Fife,  to  the  Firth  of  Forth, 
in  the  retinue  of  Gowrie,  before  alarm  was  created  at 
Falkland.  Gowrie  had  given  out  (so  his  friends  de- 
clared) that  he  was  to  go  that  night  to  Dirleton,  his 
castle  near  North  Berwick,1  a  strong  hold,  manned, 
and  provisioned.  Could  he  have  carried  the  King  in 

1  Carey  to    Cecil.     Berwick,  Border  Calendar,   vol.    ii.   p.   677, 
August  11,  1600. 


disguise  across  Fife  to  Erie,  Dirleton  was  within  a 
twelve  miles  sail,  on  summer  seas.  Had  James's 
curiosity  and  avarice  led  him  to  ride  away  at  once  with 
Euthven,  and  three  or  four  servants,  the  plot  might 
have  succeeded.  We  must  criticise  the  plot  on  these 
lines.  Thus,  if  at  all,  had  the  Earl  and  his  brother 
planned  it.  But  Fate  interfered,  the  unexpected 
occurred — but  the  plot  could  not  be  dropped.  The  story 
of  the  pot  of  gold  could  not  be  explained  away.  The 
King,  with  royal  rudeness,  did  not  even  reply  to  the 
new  argument  of  the  Master.  '  Without  any  further 
answering  him,'  his  Majesty  mounted,  Euthven  stay- 
ing still  in  the  place  where  the  King  left  him.  At 
this  moment  Inchaffray,  as  we  saw,  met  Euthven, 
and  invited  him  to  breakfast,  but  he  said  that  he  was 
ordered  to  wait  on  the  King. 

At  this  point,  James's  narrative  contains  a  cir- 
cumstance which,  confessedly,  was  not  within  his  own 
experience.  He  did  not  know,  he  says,  that  the 
Master  had  any  companion.  But,  from  the  evidence  of 
another,  he  learned  that  the  Master  had  a  companion, 
indeed  two  companions.  One  was  Andrew  Euthven, 
about  whose  presence  nobody  doubts.  The  other, 
one  Andrew  Henderson,  was  not  seen  by  James  at 
this  time.  However,  the  King  says,  on  Henderson's 
own  evidence,  that  the  Master  now  sent  him  (about 
seven  o'clock)  to  warn  Gowrie  that  the  King  was  to 
come.  Eeally  it  seems  that  Henderson  was  despatched 
rather  later,  during  the  first  check  in  the  run. 

It  was  all-important  to  the  King's  case  to  prove 


that  Henderson  had  been  at  Falkland,  and  had  re- 
turned at  once  with  a  message  to  Gowrie,  for  this 
would  demonstrate  that,  in  appearing  to  be  unpre- 
pared for  the  King's  arrival  (as  he  did),  Gowrie  was 
making  a  false  pretence.  It  was  also  important  to 
prove  that  the  ride  of  Euthven  and  Henderson  to 
Falkland  and  back  had  been  concealed,  by  them, 
from  the  people  at  Gowrie  House.  Now  this  was 
proved,  Craigengelt.  Gowrie's  steward,  who  was  tor- 
tured, tried,  convicted,  and  hanged,  deponed  that, 
going  up  the  staircase,  just  after  the  King's  arrival, 
he  met  the  Master,  booted,  and  asked  '  where  he  had 
been.'  '  An  errand  not  far  off,'  said  the  Master,  conceal- 
ing his  long  ride  to  Falkland.1  Again,  John  Moncrieff, 
a  gentleman  who  was  with  Gowrie,  asked  Henderson 
(who  had  returned  to  Perth  much  earlier  than  the 
King's  arrival)  where  he  had  been,  and  he  said  '  that 
he  had  been  two  or  three  miles  above  the  town.' 2 
Henderson  himself  later  declared  that  Gowrie  had 
told  him  to  keep  his  ride  to  Falkland  secret.3  The 
whole  purpose  of  all  this  secrecy  was  to  hide  the 
fact  that  the  Euthvens  had  brought  the  King  to 
Perth,  and  that  Gowrie  had  early  notice,  by  about 
10  A.M.,  of  James's  approach,  from  Henderson. 
Therefore  to  make  out  that  Henderson  had  been  in 
Falkland,  and  had  given  Gowrie  early  notice  of 
James's  approach,  though  Gowrie  for  all  that  made 

1  Deposition   of  Craigengelt,   a   steward   of    Gowrie's,   Falkland, 
August  16,  1600.     Pitcairn,  ii.  157. 

'  Pitcairn,  ii.  p.  185.  3  Pitcairn,  ii.  p.  179. 


no  preparations  to  welcome  James,  was  almost 
necessary  for  the  Government.  They  specially  ques- 
tioned all  witnesses  on  this  point.  Yet  not  one  of  their 
witnesses  would  swear  to  having  seen  Henderson  at 
Falkland.  This  disposes  of  the  theory  of  wholesale 

The  modern  apologist  for  the  Euthvens,  Mr.  Louis 
Barbe,  writes  :  'We  believe  that  Henderson  perjured 
himself  in  swearing  that  he  accompanied  Alexander ' 
(the  Master)  '  and  Andrew  Euthven  when  .  .  .  they 
rode  to  Falkland.  We  believe  that  Henderson  per- 
jured himself  when  he  asserted,  on  oath,  that  the 
Master  sent  him  back  to  Perth  with  the  intelligence 
of  the  Kind's  coming.' l 

o  o 

On  the  other  hand,  George  Hay,  lay  Prior  of  the 
famous  Chartreux  founded  by  James  I  in  Perth, 
deponed  that  Henderson  arrived  long  before  Gowrie's 
dinner,  and  Peter  Hay  corroborated.  But  Hay  averred 
that  Gowrie  asked  Henderson  '  who  was  at  Falkland 
with  the  King  ? '  It  would  not  follow  that  Henderson 
had  been  at  Falkland  himself.  John  Moncrieff 
deponed  that  Gowrie  said  nothing  of  Henderson's 
message,  but  sat  at  dinner,  feigning  to  have  no 
knowledge  of  the  King's  approach,  till  the  Master 
arrived,  a  few  minutes  before  the  King.  Mr.  Ehynd, 
Gowrie's  tutor,  deponed  that  Andrew  Euthven  (the 
Master's  other  companion  in  the  early  ride  to  Falk- 
land) told  him  that  the  Master  had  sent  on  Henderson 
with  news  of  the  King's  coming.  If  Henderson  had 

1  Barbe,  p.  91. 


been  at  Falkland,  lie  had  some  four  hours'  start  of  the 
King  and  his  party,  and  must  have  arrived  at  Perth, 
and  spoken  to  Gowrie,  long  before  dinner,  he  him- 
self says  at  10  A.M.  Dinner  was  at  noon,  or,  on  this 
day,  half  an  hour  later.  Yet  Gowrie  made  no  pre- 
parations for  welcoming  the  King. 

It  is  obvious  that,  though  the  Hays  and  Moncriefl 
both  saw  Henderson  return,  booted,  from  a  ride 
somewhere  or  other,  at  an  early  hour,  none  of  them 
could  prove  that  he  had  ridden  to  Falkland  and  back. 
There  was,  in  fact,  no  evidence  that  Henderson  had 
been  at  Falkland  except  his  own,  and  that  of  the  poor 
tortured  tutor,  Ehynd,  to  the  effect  that  Andrew 
Euthven  had  confessed  as  much  to  him.  But  pre- 
sently we  shall  find  that,  while  modern  apologists  for 
Gowrie  deny  that  Henderson  had  been  at  Falkland, 
the  contemporary  Euthven  apologist  insists  that  he 
had  been  there. 

To  return  to  James's  own  narrative,  he  asserts 
Henderson's  presence  at  Falkland,  but  not  from 
his  own  knowledge.  He  did  not  see  Henderson  at 
Falkland.  Euthven,  says  James,  sent  Henderson  to 
Gowrie  just  after  the  King  mounted  and  followed  the 
hounds.  Here  it  must  be  noted  that  Henderson  him- 
self says  that  Euthven  did  not  actually  despatch 
him  till  after  he  had  some  more  words  with  the 
King.  This  is  an  instance  of  James's  insouciance 
as  to  harmonising  his  narrative  with  Henderson's, 
or  causing  Henderson  to  conform  to  his.  '  Cooked  ' 
evidence,  collusive  evidence,  would  have  avoided 


these  discrepancies.  James  says  that,  musing  over 
the  story  of  the  pot  of  gold,  he  sent  one  Naismith, 
a  surgeon  (he  had  been  with  James  at  least  since 
1592),  to  bring  Euthven  to  him,  during  a  check, 
and  told  Euthven  that  he  would,  after  the  hunt, 
come  to  Perth.  James  thought  that  this  was  after  the 
despatch  of  Henderson,  but  probably  it  was  before, 
to  judge  by  Henderson's  account. 

During  this  pause,  the  hounds  having  hit  on  the 
scent  again,  the  King  was  left  behind,  but  spurred  on. 
At  every  check,  the  Master  kept  urging  him  to  make 
haste,  so  James  did  not  tarry  to  break  up  the  deer, 
as  usual.  The  kill  was  but  two  bowshots  from  the 
stables,  and  the  King  did  not  wait  for  his  sword,  or 
his  second  horse,  which  had  to  gallop  a  mile  before 
it  reached  him.  Mar,  Lennox,  and  others  did  wait 
for  their  second  mounts,  some  rode  back  to  Falk- 
land for  fresh  horses,  some  dragged  slowly  along 
on  tired  steeds,  and  did  not  rejoin  James  till  later. 

Euthven  had  tried,  James  says,  to  induce  him  to 
refuse  the  compan}'  of  the  courtiers.  Three  or  four 
servants,  he  said,  would  be  enough.  The  others  '  might 
mar  the  whole  purpose.'  James  was  'half  angry/ 
he  began  to  entertain  odd  surmises  about  Euthven. 
One  was  '  it  might  be  that  the  Earl  his  brother  had 
handled  him  so  hardly,  that  the  young  gentleman,  being 
of  a  high  spirit,  had  taken  such  displeasure,  as  he  was 
become  somewhat  beside  himself.'  But  why  should 
Gowrie  handle  his  brother  hardly  ? 

The  answer  is  suggested  by  an  unpublished  con- 


temporary  manuscript,  'The  True  Discovery  of  the 
late  Treason,' l  &c.  '  Some  offence  had  passed  betwixt 
the  said  Mr.  Alexander  Ruthven '  (the  Master)  '  and 
his  brother,  for  that  the  said  Alexander,  both  of 
himself  and  by  his  Majesty's  mediation,  had  craved 
of  the  Earl  his  brother  the  demission  and  release  of 
the  Abbey  of  Scone,  which  his  Majesty  had  bestowed 
upon  the  said  Earl  during  his  life.  .  .  .  His  suit  had 
little  success.' 

If  this  be  fact  (and  there  is  no  obvious  reason  for 
its  invention),  James  might  have  reason  to  suspect 
that  Gowrie  had  '  handled  his  brother  hardly : ' 
Scone  being  a  valuable  estate,  well  worth  keeping. 
To  secure  the  King's  favour  as  to  Scone,  Ruthven 
had  a  motive,  as  James  would  understand,  for  making 
him,  and  not  Gowrie,  acquainted  with  the  secret  of  the 
treasure.  Thus  the  unpublished  manuscript  casually 
explains  the  reason  of  the  King's  suspicion  that  the 
Earl  might  have '  handled  the  Master  hardly.' 

On  some  such  surmise,  James  asked  Lennox  (who 
corroborates)  whether  he  thought  the  Master  quite 
*  settled  in  his  wits.'  Lennox  knew  nothing  but  good 

o  o 

of  him  (as  he  said  in  his  evidence),  but  Ruthven, 
observing  their  private  talk,  implored  James  to  keep 
the  secret,  and  come  alone  with  him — at  first — to  see 
the  captive  and  the  treasure.  James  felt  more  and 
more  uneasy,  but  he  had  started,  and  rode  on,  while 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  50. 

2  Mr.  S.  E.  Gardiner  alone  remarks  on  this  point,  in  a  note  to  the 
first  edition  of  his  great  History.     See  note  to  p.  54,  infra. 


the  Master  now  despatched  Andrew  Euthven  to  warn 
Gowrie.  Within  a  mile  of  Perth  the  Master  spurred 
on  his  weary  horse,  and  gave  the  news  to  Gowrie, 
who,  despite  the  messages  of  Henderson  and  Andrew 
Euthven,  was  at  dinner,  unprepared  for  the  Eoyal 
arrival.  However,  Gowrie  met  James  with  sixty  men 
(four,  says  the  Euthven  apologist). 

James's  train  then  consisted  of  fifteen  persons. 
Others  must  have  dropped  in  later  :  they  had  no 
fresh  mounts,  but  rested  their  horses,  the  King  says, 
and  let  them  graze  by  the  way.  They  followed  be- 
cause, learning  that  James  was  going  to  Perth,  they 
guessed  that  he  intended  to  apprehend  the  Master  of 
Oliphant,  who  had  been  misconducting  himself  in 
Angus.  Thus  the  King  accounts  for  the  number  of 
his  train. 

An  hour  passed  before  dinner  :  James  pressed  for 
a  view  of  the  treasure,  but  the  Master  asked  the  King- 
not  to  converse  with  him  then,  as  the  whole  affair 
was  to  be  kept  secret  from  Gowrie.  If  the  two 
brothers  had  been  at  odds  about  the  lands  of  Scone, 
the  Master's  attitude  towards  his  brother  might 
seem  inteUigible,  a  point  never  allowed  for  by  critics 
unacquainted  with  the  manuscript  which  we  have 
cited.  At  last  the  King  sat  down  to  dinner,  Gowrie 
in  attendance,  whispering  to  his  servants,  and  often 
going  in  and  out  of  the  chamber.  The  Master,  too, 
was  seen  on  the  stairs  by  Craigengelt. 

If  Gowrie's  behaviour  is  correctly  described,  it 
might  be  attributed  to  anxiety  about  a  Eoyal  meal 



so  hastily  prepared.  But  if  Gowrie  had  plenty  of 
warning,  from  Henderson  (as  I  do  not  doubt),  that 
theory  is  not  sufficient.  If  engaged  in  a  conspiracy, 
Gowrie  would  have  reason  for  anxiety.  The  cir- 
cumstances, owing  to  the  number  of  the  royal 
retinue,  were  unfavourable,  yet,  as  the  story  of  the 
pot  of  gold  had  been  told  by  Euthven,  the  plot  could 
not  be  abandoned.  James  even  '  chaffed '  Gow- 
rie about  being  so  pensive  and  distrait,  and  about 
his  neglect  of  some  little  points  of  Scottish  etiquette. 
Finally  he  sent  Gowrie  into  the  hall,  with  the  grace- 
cup  for  the  gentlemen,  and  then  called  the  Master. 
He  sent  Gowrie,  apparently,  that  he  might  slip  off 
with  the  Master,  as  that  o-entleman  wished.  '  His 

7  O 

Majesty  desired  Mr.  Alexander  to  bring  Sir  Thomas 
Erskine  with  him,  who '  (Euthven)  '  desiring  the  King 
to  go  forward  with  him,  and  promising  that  he  should 
make  any  one  or  two  follow  him  that  he  pleased  to 
call  for,  desiring  his  Majesty  to  command  publicly 
that  none  should  follow  him.'  This  seems  to  mean, 
James  and  the  Master  were  to  cross  the  hall  and  go 
upstairs  ;  James,  or  the  Master  for  him,  bidding  no 
one  follow  (the  Master,  according  to  Balgonie,  did  say 
that  the  King  would  be  alone),  while,  presently,  the 
Master  should  return  and  privately  beckon  on  one  or 
two  to  join  the  King.  The  Master's  excuse  for  all 
this  was  the  keeping  from  Gowrie  and  others,  for  the 
moment,  of  the  secret  of  the  prisoner  and  the  pot  of 


Now,  if  we  turn  back  to  Sir  Thomas  Erskine's 


evidence,  we  find  that,  when  he  joined  James  in  the 
chamber,  after  the  slaying  of  the  Master,  he  said  '  I 
thought  your  Majesty  would  have  concredited  more 
to  me,  than  to  have  commanded  me  to  await  your 
Majesty  at  the  door,  if  you  thought  it  not  meet  to 
have  taken  me  with  you.'  The  King  replied,  '  Alas, 
the  traitor  deceived  me  in  that,  as  in  all  else,  for  I 
commanded  him  expressly  to  bring  you  to  me,  and 
he  returned  back,  as  I  thought,  to  fetch  you,  but  he 
did  nothing  but  steik  [shut]  the  door.' 

What  can  these  words  mean  ?  They  appear  to 
me  to  imply  that  James  sent  the  Master  back, 
according  to  their  arrangement,  to  bring;  Erskine, 

O  ~  O  ' 

that  the  Master  gave  Erskine  some  invented  message 
about  waiting  at  some  door,  that  he  then  shut  a  door 
between  the  King  and  his  friends,  but  told  the  King 
that  Erskine  was  to  follow  them.  Erskine  was, 
beyond  doubt,  in  the  street  with  the  rest  of  the 
retinue,  before  the  brawl  in  the  turret  reached  its 
crisis,  when  Gowrie  had  twice  insisted  that  James 
had  ridden  away. 

In  any  case,  to  go  on  with  James's  tale,  he  went 
with  Euthven  up  a  staircase  (the  great  staircase), 
'  and  through  three  or  four  rooms ' — c  three  or  four 

t — 

sundry  houses ' — '  the  Master  ever  locking  behind  him 
every  door  as  he  passed,  and  so  into  a  little  study ' — 
the  turret.  This  is  perplexing.  We  nowhere  hear 
in  the  evidence  of  more  than  two  doors,  in  the  suite, 
which  were  locked.  The  staircase  perhaps  gave  on 
the  long  gallery,  with  a  door  between  them.  The 

E  2 


gallery  gave  on  a  chamber,  which  had  a  door  (the 
door  battered  by  Lennox  and  Mar),  and  the  chamber 
i^ave  on  a  turret,  which  had  a  door  between  it  and 


the  chamber. 

We  hear,  in  the  evidence,  of  no  other  doors,  or 
of  no  other  locked  doors.  However,  in  the  Latin  in- 
dictment of  the  Euthvens,  '  many  doors '  are  insisted 
on.  As  all  the  evidence  tells  of  opposition  from  only 
one  door- -that  between  the  gallery  and  the  chamber 
of  death — James's  reason  for  talking  of  '  three  or 
four  doors '  must  be  left  to  conjecture.  '  The  True 
Discourse '  (MS.)  gives  but  the  gallery,  chamber,  and 
turret,  but  appears  to  allow  for  a  door  between 
stair  and  gallery,  which  the  Master  '  closed,'  while  he 
'  made  fast '  the  next  door,  that  between  gallery  and 
chamber.  One  Thomas  Hamilton,1  who  writes  a  long 
letter  (MS.)  to  a  lady  unknown,  also  speaks  of  several 
doors,  on  the  evidence  of  the  King,  and  some  of  the 
Lords.  This  manuscript  has  been  neglected  by  his- 

Leaving  this  point,  we  ask  why  a  man  already 
suspicious,  like  James,  let  the  Master  lock  any  door 
behind  him.  We  might  reply  that  James  had  dined, 
and  that  '  wine  and  beer  produce  a  careless  state  of 
mind,'  as  a  writer  on  cricket  long  ago  observed. 
We  may  also  suppose  that,  till  facts  proved  the 
locking  of  one  door  at  least  (for  about  that  there  is 
no  doubt),  James  did  not  know  that  any  door  was 

1  Apparently  not  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton,  the  King's  Advocate. 

2  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  51. 


locked.  On  August  11  the  Eev.  Mr.  Galloway,  in  a 
sermon  preached  before  the  King  and  the  populace 
at  the  Cross  of  Edinburgh,  says  that  the  Master 
led  the  monarch  upstairs,  '  and  through  a  trans ' 
(a  passage),  '  the  door  whereof,  so  soon  as  they  had 
entered,  chekit  to  with  ane  lok,  then  through  a  gallery, 
whose  door  also  chekit  to,  through  a  chamber,  and 
the  door  thereof  chekit  to,  also,'  and  thence  into  the 
turret  of  which  he  '  also  locked  the  door.' 1 

Were  the  locks  that  '  chekit  to  '  spring  locks,  and 
was  James  unaware  that  he  was  locked  in  ?  But  Eam- 
say,  before  the  affray,  had  wandered  into  '  a  gallery, 
very  fair,'  and  unless  there  were  two  galleries,  he 
could  not  do  this,  if  the  gallery  door  was  locked. 
Lennox  and  Mar  and  the  rest  speak  of  opposition 
from  only  one  door. 

While  we  cannot  explain  these  things,  that  door, 
at  least,  between  the  gallery  and  the  gallery  chamber, 
excluded  James  from  most  of  his  friends.  Can 
the  reader  believe  that  he  purposely  had  that  door 
locked,  we  know  not  how,  or  by  whom,  on  the  sys- 
tem of  compelling  Gowrie  to  c  come  and  be  killed ' 
by  way  of  the  narrow  staircase  ?  Could  we  see 
Gowrie  House,  and  its  '  secret  ways,'  as  it  then  was, 
we  might  understand  this  problem  of  the  locked 
doors.  Contemporary  criticism,  as  minutely  recorded 
by  Calderwood,  found  no  fault  with  the  number  of 
locked  doors,  but  only  asked  'how  could  the  King's 
fear  but  increase,  perceiving  Mr.  Alexander '  (the 

1  Pitcairn,  vol.  ii.  p.  249. 

54  THE  now i: IK  MYSTEKY 

Master)  '  ever  to  lock  the  doors  behind  them?  If 
the  doors  closed  with  spring  locks  (of  which  the 
principle  had  long  been  understood  and  used),  the 
King  may  not  have  been  aware  of  the  locking.  The 
problem  cannot  be  solved;  we  only  disbelieve  that 
the  King  himself  had  the  door  locked,  to  keep  his 
friends  out,  and  let  Gowrie  in. 

NOTE. —  The  Abbey  of  Scone.  On  page  48  we  have  quoted 
the  statement  that  Jarnes  had  bestowed  on  Gowrie  the  Abbey  of 
Scone  '  during  his  life.'  This  was  done  in  1580  (Begiatrum  Magni 
Siffilli,  vol.  iii.  No.  3011).  On  May  25,  1584,  William  Fullarton 
got  this  gift,  the  first  Earl  of  Gowrie  and  his  children  being  then 
forfeited.  But  on  July  23,  1580,  the  Gowrie  of  the  day  was  restored 
to  all  his  lands,  and  the  Earldom  of  Gowrie  included  the  old  church 
lands  of  Scone  (Reg.  Mag.  Sig.  iv.  No.  695,  No.  1044).  How,  then, 
did  John,  third  Earl  of  Gowrie,  hold  only  '  for  his  life '  the  Com- 
mendatorship  of  the  Abbey  of  Scone,  as  is  stated  in  S.  P.  Scot.  (Eli/.) 
vol.  Ixvi.  No.  50? 






WE  left  James  entering  the  little  '  round,'  or  '  study,' 
the  turret  chamber.  Here,  at  last,  he  expected  to 
find  the  captive  and  the  pot  of  gold.  And  here  the 
central  mystery  of  his  adventure  began.  His  Majesty 
saw  standing,  '  with  a  very  abased  countenance,  not 
a  bondman  but  a  freeman,  with  a  dagger  at  his 
girdle.'  Euthven  locked  the  door,  put  on  his  hat, 
drew  the  man's  dagger,  and  held  the  point  to  the 
King's  breast,  '  avowing  now  that  the  King  behoved  to 
be  at  his  wilL  and  used  as  he  list :  swearing  manv 

o  «/ 

bloody  oaths  that  if  the  King  cried  one  word,  or 
opened  a  window  to  look  out,  that  dagger  should  go 
to  his  heart.' 

If  this  tale  is  true,  murder  was  not  intended, 
unless  James  resisted :  the  King  was  only  being 
threatened  into  compliance  with  the  Master's  '  will.' 
Euthven  added  that  the  King's  conscience  must  now 
be  burthened  '  for  murdering  his  father,'  that  is,  for 
the  execution  of  William,  Earl  of  Gowrie,  in  1584. 


His  conviction  was  believed  to  have  been  procured 
in  a  dastardly  manner,  later  to  be  explained. 

James  was  unarmed,  and  obviously  had  no  secret 


coat  of  mail,  in  which  he  could  not  have  hunted  all 
day,  perhaps.  Euthven  had  his  sword ;  as  for  the 
other  man  he  stood  '  trembling  and  quaking.'  James 
now  made  to  the  Master  the  odd  harangue  reported 
even  in  Nicholson's  version  of  the  Falkland  letter  of  the 
same  day.  As  for  Gowrie's  execution,  the  King  said, 
he  had  then  been  a  minor  (he  was  eighteen  in  1584), 
and  Gowrie  was  condemned  '  by  the  ordinary  course  of 
law ' — which  his  friends  denied.  James  had  restored, 
he  said,  all  the  lands  and  dignities  of  the  House,  two 
of  Euthven's  sisters  were  maids  of  honour.  Euthven 
had  been  educated  by  the  revered  Mr.  Eollock,  he 
ouo'ht  to  have  learned  better  behaviour.  If  the  King 

o  o 

died  he  would  be  avenged :  Gowrie  could  not  hope 
for  the  throne.  The  King  solemnly  promised  forgive- 
ness and  silence,  if  Euthven  let  him  go. 

Euthven  now  uncovered  his  head,  and  protested 
that  the  King's  life  should  be  safe,  if  he  made  no 
noise  or  cry  :  in  that  case  Euthven  would  now  bring 
Gowrie  to  him.  '  Why  ?  '  asked  James  ;  '  you  could 
gain  little  by  keeping  such  a  prisoner  ? '  Euthven 
said  that  he  could  not  explain  ;  Gowrie  would  tell 
him  the  rest.  Turning  to  the  other  man,  he  said  '  I 
make  you  the  King's  keeper  till  I  come  again,  and 
see  that  you  keep  him  upon  your  peril.'  He  then 
went  out,  and  locked  the  door.  The  person  who  later 
averred  that  he  had  been  the  man  in  the  turret, 


believed  that  Euthven  never  went  far  from  the  door. 
James  believed,  indeed  averred,  that  he  ran  down- 
stairs, and  consulted  Gowrie. 

If  there  was  an  armed  man  in  the  turret,  he 
was  either  placed  there  by  the  King,  to  protect  him 
while  he  summoned  his  minions  by  feigned  cries  of 

«  o 

treason,  or  he  was  placed  there  by  Gowrie  to  help 
the  Master  to  seize  the  Kin^.  In  the  latter  case,  the 

t^  * 

Master's  position  was  now  desperate  ;  in  lieu  of  an 
ally  he  had  procured  a  witness  against  himself.  Great 
need  had  he  to  consult  Gowrie,  but  though  Gow- 
rie certainly  entered  the  house,  went  upstairs,  and 
returned  to  Lennox  with  the  assurance  that  James 
had  ridden  away,  it  is  improbable  that  he  and  his 
brother  met  at  this  moment.  James,  however,  avers 
that  they  met,  Euthven  running  rapidly  downstairs, 
but  this  was  mere  inference  on  the  King's  part. 

James  occupied  the  time  of  Euthven's  absence 
in  asking  the  man  of  the  turret  what  he  knew  of 
the  conspiracy.  The  man  replied  that  he  knew 
nothing,  he  had  but  recently  been  locked  into  the 
little  chamber.  Indeed,  while  Euthven  was  threaten- 
ing, the  man  (says  James)  was  trembling,  and 
adjuring  the  Master  not  to  harm  the  King.  James, 
having  sworn  to  Euthven  that  he  would  not  open 
the  window  himself,  now,  characteristically,  asked 
the  man  to  open  the  window  'on  his  right  hand.' 
If  the  King  had  his  back  to  the  turret  door,  the 
window  on  his  right  opened  on  the  courtyard,  the 
window  on  his  left  opened  on  the  street.  The 


man  readily  opened  the  window,  says  the  King, 
and  the  person  claiming  to  be  the  man  deponed  later 
that  he  first  opened  what  the  King  declared  to  be  the 
wrong  window,  but,  before  he  could  open  the  other, 
in  came  the  Master,  who,  '  casting  his  hands  abroad 
in  desperate  manner,  said  "he  could  not  mend  it, 
his  Majesty  behoved  to  die."  Instead  of  stabbing 
James,  however,  he  tried  to  bind  the  Eoyal  hands 
with  a  garter,  '  swearing  he  behoved  to  be  bound.' 
(A  garter  was  later  picked  up  on  the  floor  by  one  of 
the  witnesses,  Graham  of  Balgonie,  and  secured  by 
Sir  Thomas  Erskine.1) 

A  struggle  then  began,  James  keeping  the 
Master's  right  hand  off  his  sword-hilt ;  the  Master 
trying  to  silence  James  with  his  left  hand.  James 

*•          {—} 

dragged  the  Master  to  the  window,  which  the  other 
man  had  opened.  (In  the  Latin  indictment  of  the 
dead  Euthvens,  James  opens  the  window  himself.) 
The  turret  man  said,  in  one  of  two  depositions,  that 
he  stretched  across  the  wrestlers,  and  opened  the 
window.  The  retinue  and  Gowrie  were  passing,  as 
we  know,  or  loitering  below  ;  Gowrie  affected  not  to 
hear  the  cries  of  treason ;  Lennox,  Mar,  and  the  rest 
rushed  up  the  great  staircase.  Meanwhile,  struggling 
with  the  Master,  James  had  brought  him  out  of  the 
turret  into  the  chamber,  so  he  says,  though,  more 
probably,  the  Master  brought  him.  They  were  now 

1  Mr.  Scott  suggested  that  a  piece  of  string  was  found  by  Balgonie. 
The  words  of  Balgonie  are  '  ane  gartane '-  —a  garter.  He  never 
mentions  string. 



near  the  door  of  the  chamber  that  gave  on  the  narrow 
staircase,  and  James  was  '  throwing  tlie  Master's  sword 
out  of  his  hand,  thinking  to  have  stricken  him  there- 
with,' when  Eamsay  entered,  and  wounded  the  Master, 
who  was  driven  down  the  stairs,  and  there  killed 
by  Erskine  and  Herries.  Gowrie  then  invaded  the 
room  with  seven  others  :  James  was  looking  for  the 

The  Black     /' 
Turnpike    ,' 

Court  Yard 




Earl  of  Mar  and  King's  Suite, 
the  Earl  of  Gowrie  etc. 

Window  whence 
the  King  cried 

*      x 


Master's  sword,1  which  had  fallen,  but  he  was  instantly 
shut  into  the  turret  by  his  friends,  and  saw  none 
of  the  fight  in  which  Gowrie  fell.  After  that  Lennox 
and  the  party  with  hammers  were  admitted,  and — the 
tumult  appeased — James  rode  back,  through  a  dark 
rainy  night,  to  Falkland. 

1  According  to  a  story  given  by  Calderwood,  Ruthven's  sword  was 
later  found  rusted  in  its  sheath,  but  no  authority  is  given  for  the  tale. 




THE  man  in  the  turret  had  vanished  like  a  ghost. 
Henderson,  on  the  day  after  the  tragedy,  was  also 
not   to    be  found.      Like    certain    Euthvens,    Hew 
Moncrieff,  Eviot,  and  others,  who  had  fought  in  the 
death-chamber,  or  been  distinguished  in  the  later  riot, 
Henderson  had  fled.     He  was,  though  a  retainer  of 
Gowrie,  a  member  of  the   Town  Council  of  Perth, 
and  '  chamberlain,'  or  c  factor,'  of  the  lands  of  Scone, 
then  held  by  Gowrie  from  the  King.     To  find  any 
one  who  had  seen  him  during  the  tumult  was  difficult 
or  impossible.     William  Eobertson,  a  notary  of  Perth, 
examined   in   November    before    the   Parliamentary 
Committee,  said  then  that  he  only  saw  Gowrie,  with 
his  two  drawn  swords,  and  seven  or  eight  companions, 
in  the  forecourt  of  the  house,  and  so,  '  being  afraid, 
he  passed  out  of  the  place.'     The  same  man,  earlier, 
on  September  23,  when  examined  with  other  citizens 
of  Perth,  had  said  that  he  followed  young  Tullibar- 
dine  and  some  of  his   men,  who  were  entering  the 
court  '  to  relieve  the  King.' l     He    saw   the  Master 
lying  dead  at  the  foot  of  the  stair,  and  saw  Hender- 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  197. 


son  '  come  out  of  the  said  turnpike,  over  the  Master's 
belly.'  He  spoke  to  Henderson,  who  did  not  answer. 
He  remembered  that  Murray  of  Arbany  was  pre- 
sent. Arbany,  before  the  Parliamentary  Committee 
in  November,  said  nothing  on  this  subject,  nor  did 
Robertson.  His  evidence  would  have  been  impor- 
tant, had  he  adhered  to  what  he  said  on  Septem- 
ber 23.  But,  oddly  enough,  if  he  perjured  himself 
on  the  earlier  occasion  (September  23),  he  withdrew 
his  perjury,  when  it  would  have  been  useful  to  the 
King's  case,  in  the  evidence  given  before  the  Lords 
of  the  Articles,  in  November.  Mr.  Barbe,  perhaps 
misled  by  the  sequence  of  versions  in  Pitcairn,  writes  : 
'  Apparently  it  was  only  when  his  memory  had  been 
stimulated  by  the  treatment  of  those  whose  evidence 
was  found  to  be  favourable  to  the  King  that  the  wily 
notary  recalled  the  details  by  which  he  intended  to 
corroborate  Henderson's  statement.  .  .  .' l 

The  reverse  is  the  case :  the  wily  notary  did  not 
offer,  at  the  trial  in  November,  the  evidence  which 
he  had  given,  in  September,  at  the  examination  of 
the  citizens  of  Perth.  It  may  perhaps  be  inferred 
that  perjury  was  not  encouraged,  but  depressed.2 

1  The  Tragedy  of  Gowrie  House,  by  Louis  Barbe,  1887,  p.  91. 

2  Mr.  Barbe,  as  we  saw,  thinks  that  Robertson  perjured  himself, 
when  he  swore  to  having  seen  Henderson  steal  out  of  the  dark  stair- 
case and  step   over  Ruthven's  body.     On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  Bisset 
thought  that  Robertson  spoke  truth  on  this  occasion,  but  concealed  the 
truth   in  his  examination   later,  because   his   evidence   implied  that 
Henderson  left  the  dark  staircase,  not  when  Ramsay  attacked  Ruthven, 
but  later,  when  Ruthven  had  already  been  slain.     Mr.  Bisset' s  theory 
was  that  Henderson  had  never  been  in  the  turret  during  the  crisis,  but 
had  entered  the  dark  staircase  from  a  door  of  the  dining-hall  on  the 


Despite  the  premiums  on  perjury  which  Euthven 
apologists  insist  on,  not  one  witness  would  swear  to 
having  seen  Henderson  during  or  after  the  tumult. 

O  D 

Yet  he  instantly  fled,  with  others  who  had  been 
active  in  the  brawl,  and  remained  in  concealment. 
Calderwood,  the  earnest  collector  of  contemporary 
gossip  and  documents,  assures  us  that  when  the  man 
in  the  turret  could  not  be  found,  the  first  pro- 
clamation identified  him  with  a  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant, 
a  '  black  grim  man,'  but  that  Oliphant  proved  his 
absence  from  Perth.  One  Gray  and  one  Lesley  were 
also  suspected,  and  one  Younger  (hiding  when  sought 
for,  it  is  said)  was  killed.  But  we  have  no  copy  of 
the  proclamation  as  to  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant.  To  Mr. 
Eobert  Oliphant,  who  had  an  alibi,  we  shall  return, 
for  this  gentleman,  though  entirely  overlooked  by 
our  historians,  was  probably  at  the  centre  of  the 
situation  (p.  71,  infra). 

Meanwhile,  whatever  Henderson  had  done,  he 
mysteriously  vanished  from  Gowrie  House,  during  or 
after  the  turmoil,  '  following  darkness  like  a  dream.7 
Nobody  was  produced  who  could  say  anything  about 
seeing  Henderson,  after  MoncriefF  and  the  Hays  saw 

first  floor.  Such  a  door  existed,  according  to  Lord  Hailes,  but 
when  he  wrote  (1757)  110  traces  of  this  arrangement  were  extant.  If 
such  a  door  there  was,  Henderson  may  have  slunk  into  the  hall,  out  of 
the  dark  staircase,  and  slipped  forth  again,  at  the  moment  when 
Robertson,  in  his  first  deposition,  swore  to  having  seen  him.  But 
Murray  of  Arbany  cannot  well  have  been  there  at  that  moment,  as  he 
was  with  the  party  of  Lennox  and  Mar,  battering  at  the  door  of  the 
gallery  chamber. — Bisset,  Essays  in  Historical  Truth,  pp.  228-237. 
Hailes,  Annals.  Third  Edition,  vol.  iii.  p.  369.  Note  (1819). 


him  on  his  return  from  Falkland,  at  about  ten  o'clock 
in  the  morning  of  August  5. 

By  August  12,  Henderson  was  still  in  hiding,  and 

*<  C7  O 

was  still  being  proclaimed  for,  with  others,  of  whom 
Mr.  Robert  Oliphant  was  not  one  :  they  were  Mon- 
crieff,  Evict,  and  two  Ruthvens.1  But,  on  August  11 
at  the  Cross  of  Edinburgh,  in  presence  of  the  King, 
his  chaplain,  the  Rev.  Patrick  Galloway,  gave  news 
of  Henderson.  Mr.  Galloway  had  been  minister  of 
Perth,  and  a  fierce  Presbyterian  of  old. 

Blow,  Galloway,  the  trumpet  of  the  Lord ! 

exclaimed  a  contemporary  poet.  But  James  had 
tamed  Galloway,  he  was  now  the  King's  chaplain,  he 
did  not  blow  the  trumpet  of  the  Lord  any  longer, 
and,  I  fear,  was  capable  of  anything.  He  had  a 
pension,  Calderwood  tells  us,  from  the  lands  of  Scone, 
and  knew  Henderson,  who,  as  Chamberlain,  or 
steward,  paid  the  money.  In  his  exciting  sermon, 
Galloway  made  a  dramatic  point.  Henderson  was 
found,  and  Henderson  was  the  man  in  the  turret ! 
Galloway  had  received  a  letter  from  Henderson,  in 
his  own  hand ;  any  listener  who  knew  Henderson's 
hand  might  see  the  letter.  Henderson  tells  his  tale 
therein ;  Galloway  says  that  it  differs  almost  nothing 
from  the  King's  story,  of  which  he  had  given  an 
abstract  in  his  discourse.  And  he  adds  that  Hender- 
son stole  downstairs  while  Ramsay  was  engaged  with 
the  Master.2 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  vi.  149,  150.         2  Pitcairn,  ii.  250. 


Henderson,  being  now  in  touch  with  Galloway, 
probably  received  promise  of  his  life,  and  of  reward, 
for  he  came  in  before  August  20,  and,  at  the  trial  in 
November,  was  relieved  of  the  charge  of  treason,  and 
£ave  evidence. 


Here  we  again  ask,  Why  did  Henderson  take  to 

flight  ?  What  had  he  to  do  with  the  matter  ?  None 
fled  but  those  who  had  been  seen,  sword  in  hand, 
in  the  fatal  chamber,  or  stimulating  the  populace  to 
attack  the  Kino-  during  the  tumult.  Andrew  Euthven, 

O  O 

who  had  ridden  to  Falkland  with  Henderson  and  the 
Master,  did  not  run  away,  no  proclamation  for  him 
is  on  record.  Nobody  swore  to  seeing  Henderson, 
like  his  fellow  fugitives,  armed  or  active,  yet  he  fled 
and  skulked.  Manifestly  Henderson  had,  in  one  way 
or  other,  been  suspiciously  concerned  in  the  affair. 
He  had  come  in,  and  was  at  Falkland,  by  August  20, 
when  he  was  examined  before  the  Chancellor,  Mont- 
rose,  the  King's  Advocate,  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton,  Sir 
George  Hume  of  Spot  (later  Earl  of  Dunbar),  and 
others,  in  the  King's  absence.  He  deponed  that,  on 
the  night  of  August  4,  Gowrie  bade  him  and  Andrew 
Euthven  ride  early  to  Falkland  with  the  Master,  and 
return,  if  the  Master  ordered  him  so  to  do,  with  a 
message.  At  Falkland  they  went  into  a  house,1  and 

1  Mr.  Panton,  who,  in  1812,  published  at  Perth,  and  with  Long- 
mans, a  defence  of  the  Ruthvens,  is  very  strong  on  the  improbability 
that  Henderson  was  at  Falkland.  Why  were  not  the  people  to  whose 
house  in  Falkland  he  went,  called  as  witnesses  ?  Indeed  we  do  not 
know.  But  as  Mr.  Panton  looked  on  the  King's  witnesses  as  a  gang 
of  murderous  perjurers,  it  is  odd  that  he  did  not  ask  himself  why  they, 
and  the  King,  did  not  perjure  themselves  on  this  point.  (A  Dissertation 
on  the  Gowry  Conspiracy,  pp.  127-131.) 


the  Master  sent  him  to  learn  what  the  King  was 
doing.  He  came  back  with  the  news ;  the  Master 
talked  with  the  King,  then  told  Henderson  to  carry  to 
Gowrie  the  tidings  of  the  King's  visit,  '  and  that  his 
Majesty  would  be  quiet.'  Henderson  asked  if  he  was 
to  start  at  once.  Euthven  told  him  to  wait  till  he 
spoke  to  the  King  again.  They  did  speak,  at  a  gap 
in  a  wall,  during  the  check  in  the  run  ;  Euthven 
returned  to  Henderson,  sent  him  off,  and  Henderson 
reached  Perth  about  ten  o'clock.  Gowrie,  on  his 
arrival,  left  the  company  he  was  with  (the  two  Hays), 
and  here  George  Hay's  evidence  makes  Gowrie  ask 
Henderson  '  who  was  with  the  King  at  Falkland  ? '  Hay 
said  that  Gowrie  then  took  Henderson  into  another 
room.  Henderson  says  nothing  about  a  question  as 
to  the  King's  company,  asked  in  presence  of  Hay, 
a  compromising  and  improbable  question,  if  Gowrie 
wished  to  conceal  the  visit  to  Falkland. 

Apart,  Gowrie  put  some  other  questions  to 
Henderson  as  to  how  the  King  received  the  Master. 
Henderson  then  went  to  his  house  ;  an  hour  later 
Gowrie  bade  him  put  on  his  secret  coat  of  mail, 
and  plate  sleeves,  as  he  had  to  arrest  a  Highlander. 
Henderson  did  as  commanded ;  at  twelve  the  steward 
told  him  to  bring  up  dinner,  as  Craigengelt  (the 
caterer)  was  ill.  Dinner  began  at  half-past  twelve ; 
at  the  second  course  the  Master  entered,  Andrew 
Euthven  had  arrived  earlier.  The  company  rose 
from  table,  and  Henderson,  who  was  not  at  the 
moment  in  the  room,  heard  them  moving,  and 



thought  that  they  were  '  going  to  make  breeks 
for  Maconilduy,'  that  is,  to  catch  the  Highlander. 
Finding  he  was  wrong,  he  threw  his  steel  gauntlet 
into  the  pantry,  and  sent  his  boy  to  his  house  with 
his  steel  cap.  He  then  followed  Gowrie  to  meet  the 
King,  and,  after  he  had  fetched '  a  drink '  (which  James 
says  '  was  long  in  coming '),  the  Master  bade  him 
ask  Mr.  Ehynd,  Gowrie's  old  tutor,  for  the  key  of 
the  gallery,  which  Ehynd  brought  to  the  Master. 
Gowrie  then  went  up,  and  spoke  with  the  Master,  and, 
after  some  coming  and  going,  Henderson  was  sent 
to  the  Master  in  the  gallery.  Thither  Gowrie  re- 
turned, and  bade  Henderson  do  whatever  the  Master 
commanded.  (The  King  says  that  Gowrie  came 
and  went  from  the  room,  during  his  dinner.)  The 
Master  next  bade  Henderson  enter  the  turret,  and 
locked  him  in.  He  passed  the  time  in  terror  and 
in  prayer. 

There  foUows  the  story  of  the  entry  of  James 
and  the  Master,  and  Henderson  now  avers  that 
he  '  threw '  the  dagger  out  of  the  Master's  hand. 
He  declares  that  the  Master  said  that  he  wanted 
'  a  promise  from  the  King,'  on  what  point  Gowrie 
would  explain.  The  rest  is  much  as  in  the  King's 
account,  but  Henderson  was  'pressing  to  have 
opened  the  window,'  he  says,  when  the  Master  entered 
for  the  second  time,  with  the  garter  to  bind  the  King's 
hands.  During  the  struggle  Henderson  removed  the 
Master's  hand  from  the  King's  mouth,  and  opened 
the  window.  The  Master  said  to  him,  'Wilt  thou 


not  help  ?     Woe  betide  thee,  thou  wilt  make  us  all 
die.' 1 

Henderson's  later  deposition,  at  the  trial  in  No- 
vember, was  mainly,  but  not  without  discrepancies,  to 
the  same  effect  as  his  first.     He  said  that  he  prayed, 
when  alone  in  the  turret,  but   omits    the  statement 
(previously  made  by  him)  that  he  deprived  Euthven  of 
his  dagger,  a  very  improbable  tale,  told  falsely  at  first, 
no  doubt,  as  Eobertson  the  notary  at  first  invented 
his   fable   about   meeting    with   Henderson,    coming 
out   of  the  dark   staircase.      This  myth  Eobertson 
narrated  when  examined  in  September,  but  omitted 
it  in  the  trial  in   November.      Henderson  now  ex- 
plained about  his  first  opening  the  wrong  window, 
but  he  sticks  to   it   that   he   took   the  garter  from 
Euthven,  of  which  James  says    nothing.     He  vows 
that  he  turned  the  key  of  the  door  on  the  staircase, 
so  that  Eamsay  could  enter,  whereas  Eamsay  averred 
that    he    himself    forced   the   door.      Mr.    Hudson 
(James's  resident  at  the  Court  of  England),  who  in 
October  1600  interviewed  both  Henderson  and  the 
King,  says  that,  in  fact,  the  Master  had  not  locked 
the   door,    on   his   re-entry.2     Henderson   slunk  out 
when  Eamsay  came  in.     He  adds  that  it  was  his  steel 
cap  which  was  put  on  Gowrie's  head  by  a  servant 
(there  was  plenty  of  evidence  that  a  steel  cap  was 
thus  put  on). 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  222,  223, 

2  Hudson  to  Cecil,  Oct.  19, 1600,  Edinburgh,    State  Papers,  Scotland 
(Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  78. 


One  singular  point  in  Henderson's  versions  is  this  : 
after  Euthven,  in  deference  to  James's  harangue  in 
the  turret,  had  taken  off  his  hat,  the  King  said, 
'  What  is  it  ye  crave,  man,  if  ye  crave  not  my  life  ? ' 
4  Sir,  it  is  but  a  promise,'  answered  Euthven.  The 
King  asked  4  What  promise  ? '  and  Euthven  said  that 
his  brother  would  explain.  This  tale  looks  like  a  con- 
fusion made,  by  Henderson's  memory,  in  a  passage 
in  James's  narrative.  'His  Majesty  inquired  what 
the  Earl  would  do  with  him,  since  (if  his  Majesty's 
life  were  safe,  according  to  promise)  they  could  gain 
little  in  keeping  such  a  prisoner.'  Euthven  then, 
in  James's  narrative,  said  '  that  the  Earl  would  tell 
his  Majesty  at  his  coming.'  It  appears  that  the  word 
4  promise  '  in  the  Eoyal  version,  occurring  at  this  point 
in  the  story,  clung  to  Henderson's  memory,  and  so 
crept  into  his  tale.  Others  have  thought  that  the 
Euthvens  wished  to  extort  from  James  a  promise 
about  certain  money  which  he  owed  to  Gowrie. 
But  to  extort  a  promise,  by  secluding  and  threatening 
the  King,  would  have  been  highly  treasonable  and 

O  ^  v 

dangerous,   nor   need   James  have  kept    a   promise 
made  under  duress. 

Perhaps  few  persons  who  are  accustomed  to 
weigh  and  test  evidence,  who  know  the  weaknesses 
of  human  memories,  and  the  illusions  which  impose 
themselves  upon  our  recollections,  will  lay  great 
stress  on  the  discrepancies  between  Henderson's  first 
deposition  (in  August),  his  second  (in  November),  and 
the  statement  of  the  King.  In  the  footnote  printed 


below,1  Hudson  explains  the  origin  of  certain  differ- 
ences between  the  King's  narrative  and  Henderson's 
evidence,  given  in  August.  Hudson  declares  that 
James  boasted  of  having  taken  the  dagger  out  of 
Euthven's  hands  (which,  in  fact,  James  does  not  do, 
in  his  published  narration),  and  that  Henderson 
claimed  to  have  snatched  the  dagger  away, '  to  move 
mercy  by  more  merit.'  It  is  clear  that  James  would 
not  accept  his  story  of  disarming  Euthven ;  Henderson 
omits  that  in  his  second  deposition.  For  the  rest, 
James,  who  was  quite  clever  enough  to  discover  the 
discrepancies,  let  them  stand,  at  the  end  of  his  own 
printed  narrative,  with  the  calm  remark,  that  if  any 
differences  existed  in  the  depositions,  they  must  be 
taken  as  '  uttered  by  the  deponer  in  his  own  behouf,  for 
obtaining  of  his  Majesty's  princely  grace  and  favour.'  2 
Henderson's  first  deposition  was  one  of  these  which 

1  James  Hudson  to  Sir  Robert  Cecil. 

' .  .  .  I  have  had  conference  of  this  last  acsyon,  first  wtb  the  King, 
at  lenght,  &  then  wth  Henderson,  but  my  speache  was  first  wth  Hen- 
derson befoar  the  King  came  over  the  waiter,  betwixt  whoame  I  fynde 
no  defference  but  yl  boath  alegethe  takinge  the  dager  frome  Alexander 
Ruthven,  wch  stryf  on  the  one  part  maie  seame  to  agrnent  honor,  & 
on  the  other  to  move  mersy  by  moar  merit :  it  is  plaen  y*  the  King 
only  by  god's  help  deffended  his  owin  lyff  wel  &  that  a  longe  tynie,  or 
els  he  had  lost  it :  it  is  not  trew  that  Mr.  Alex  spok  wtb  his  brother 
when  he  went  owt,  nor  that  Henderson  vnlokt  the  door,  but  hast  & 
neglect  of  Mr.  Alex,  left  it  opin,  wherat  Sr  Jhon  Ramsay  entrid,  & 
after  hime  Sr  Tho.  Ereskyn  Sr  Hew  Haris  &  Wilsone.  Y*  it  is  not 
generally  trustid  is  of  mallice  &  preoccupassyon  of  mens  mynds  by 
the  minesters  defidence  at  the  first,  for  this  people  ar  apt  to  beleve 
the  worst  &  loath  to  depart  frome  yl  fayth. 

•  •••••••• 

'  Edinborow  this  19  of  October  1600.' 
2  Pitcairn,  ii.  218. 


James  printed  with  his  own  narrative,  and  thus 
treated  en  prince.  He  was  not  going  to  harmonise 
his  evidence  with  Henderson's,  or  Henderson's  with 
his.  On  the  other  hand,  from  the  first,  Henderson  had 
probably  the  opportunity  to  frame  his  confession  on  the 
Falkland  letter  of  August  5  to  the  Chancellor,  and 
the  Provost  of  Edinburgh  ;  and,  later,  on  the  printed 
narrative  officially  issued  at  the  close  of  August  1600. 
He  varied,  when  he  did  vary,  in  hopes  of  '  his 
Majesty's  princely  grace  and  favour,'  and  he  naturally 
tried  to  make  out  that  he  was  not  a  mere  trembling 
expostulating  caitiff.  He  clung  to  the  incident  of 
the  garter  which  he  snatched  from  the  Master's  hand. 

Henderson  had  no  Eoyal  model  for  his  account 
of  how  he  came  to  be  in  the  turret,  which  James 
could  only  learn  from  himself.  Now  that  is  the  most 
incredible  part  of  Henderson's  narrative.  However 
secret  the  Kuthvens  may  have  desired  to  be,  how 
could  they  trust  everything  to  the  chance  that  the 
town  councillor  of  Perth,  upper  footman,  and  Cham- 
berlain of  Scone,  would  act  the  desperate  part  of 
seizing  a  king,  without  training  and  without  warn- 
ing ? 

But  was  Henderson  unwarned  and  uninstructed, 
or,  did  he  fail  after  ample  instruction  ?  That  is  the 
difficult  point  raised  by  the  very  curious  case  of  Mr. 
Eobert  Oliphant,  which  has  never  been  mentioned,  I 
think,  by  the  many  minute  students  of  this  bewilder- 
ing affair. 




0  LIP  HA  NT 

SUPPOSE  that  men  like  the  Euthvens,  great  and 
potent  nobles,  had  secretly  invited  their  retainer, 
Andrew  Henderson,  to  take  the  role  of  the  armed 
man  in  the  turret,  what  could  Henderson  have  done  ? 
Such  proposals  as  this  were  a  danger  dreaded  even 
by  the  most  powerful.  Thus,  in  March  1562,  James 
Hepburn,  the  wicked  Earl  of  Bothwell,  procured, 
through  John  Knox,  a  reconciliation  with  his  feudal 
enemy,  Arran.  The  brain  of  Arran  was  already,  it 
seems,  impaired.  A  few  days  after  the  reconcilia- 
tion he  secretly  consulted  Knox  on  a  delicate  point. 
Bothwell,  he  said,  had  imparted  to  him  a  scheme 
whereby  they  should  seize  Queen  Mary's  person,  and 
murder  her  secretary,  Lethington,  and  her  half- 
brother,  Lord  James  Stuart,  later  Earl  of  Moray. 
Arran  explained  to  Knox  that,  if  ever  the  plot  came 
to  light,  he  would  be  involved  in  the  crime  of  guilty 
concealment  of  foreknowledge  of  treason.  But,  if  he 
divulged  the  plan,  Bothwell  would  challenge  him  to 
trial  by  combat.  Knox  advised  secrecy,  but  Arran, 


now  far  from  sane,  revealed  the  real  or  imagined 

To  a  man  like  Henderson,  the  peril  in  simply 
listening  to  treasonable  proposals  from  the  Ruthvens 
would  be  even  greater.  If  he  merely  declined  to  be 
a  party,  and  kept  silence,  or  fled,  he  lost  his  employ- 
ment as  Gowrie's  man,  and  would  be  ruined.  If  the 
plot  ever  came  to  light,  he  would  be  involved  in 
guilty  concealment  of  foreknowledge.  If  he  instantly 
revealed  to  the  King  what  he  knew,  his  word  would 
not  be  accepted  against  that  of  Gowrie :  he  would 
be  tortured,  to  get  at  the  very  truth,  and  probably 
would  be  hanged  by  way  of  experiment,  to  see  if  he 
would  adhere  to  his  statement  on  the  scaffold — a 
fate  from  which  Henderson,  in  fact,  was  only  saved 
by  the  King. 

What  then,  if  the  Gowries  offered  to  Henderson 
the  role  of  the  man  in  the  turret,  could  Henderson 
do  ?  He  could  do  what,  according  to  James  and  to 
himself,  he  did,  he  could  tremble,  expostulate,  and 
assure  the  King  of  his  ignorance  of  the  purpose 
for  which  he  was  locked  up,  '  like  a  dog,'  in  the  little 

That  this  may  have  been  the  real  state  of  affairs 
is  not  impossible.  We  have  seen  that  Calderwood 
mentions  a  certain  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant  (Mr.  means 
Master  of  Arts)  as  having  been  conjectured  at,  im- 
mediately after  the  tragedy,  as  the  man  in  the  turret. 
He  must  therefore  have  been,  and  he  was,  a  trusted 
retainer  of  Gowrie.  But  Oliphant  at  once  proved 


an  alibi ;  he  was  not  in  Perth  on  August  5.  His 
name  never  occurs  in  the  voluminous  records  of  the 
proceedings.  He  is  not,  like  Henderson,  among  the 
persons  who  fled,  and  for  whom  search  was  made, 
as  far  as  the  documents  declare,  though  Calderwood 
says  that  he  was  described  as  a  '  black  grim  man ' 
in  '  the  first  proclamation.'  If  so,  it  looks  ill  for 
James,  as  Henderson  was  a  brown  fair  man.  In 
any  case,  Oliphant  at  once  cleared  himself. 

But  we  hear  of  him  again,  though  historians  have 

O  '  O 

overlooked  the  fact.  Among  the  Acts  of  Caution 
of  1600 — that  is,  the  records  of  men  who  become 
sureties  for  the  good  behaviour  of  others — is  an  entry 
in  the  Privy  Council  Eegister  for  December  5,  1600.1 
'  Mr.  Alexander  Wilky  in  the  Canongate  for  John 
Wilky,  tailor  there,  200/.,  not  to  harm  John  Lyn, 
also  tailor  there ;  further,  to  answer  when  required 
touching  his  (John  Wilky's)  pursuit  of  Lyn  for 
revealing  certain  speeches  spoken  to  him  by  Mr. 
Eobert  Oliphant  anent  his  foreknowledge  of  the 
treasonable  conspiracy  of  the  late  John,  sometime 
Earl  of  Gowrie.' 

Thus  Eobert  Oliphant,  M.A.,  had  spoken  to  tailor 
Lyn,  or  so  Lyn  had  declared,  about  his  own  fore- 
knowledge of  the  plot ;  Lyn  had  blabbed ;  tailor 
Wilky  had  '  pursued '  or  attacked  Lyn ;  and  Alexander 
Wilky,  who  was  bailie  of  the  Canongate,  enters 
into  recognisances  to  the  amount  of  200/.  that  John 
Wilky  shall  not  further  molest  Lyn. 

1  Privy  Council  Eegister,  vi.  671. 


Now  what  had  Oliphant  said  ? 

On  the  very  day,  December  5,  when  Alexander 
Wilky  became  surety  for  the  good  behaviour  of  John 
Wilky,  Nicholson,  the  English  resident  at  Holyrood, 
described  the  facts  to  Eobert  Cecil.1  Nicholson 
says  that,  at  a  house  in  the  Canongate,  Mr.  Eobert 
Oliphant  was  talking  of  the  Gowrie  case.  He  was 
a  man  who  had  travelled,  and  he  inveighed  against 
the  unfairness  of  Scottish  procedure  in  the  case  of 

We  have  seen  that  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun, 
Gowrie's  equerry,  first  brought  to  Lennox  and  others, 
in  the  garden,  the  report  that  the  King  had  ridden 
away.  We  have  seen  that  he  was  deeply  wounded 
by  Eamsay  just  before  or  after  Gowrie  fell.  Unable 
to  escape,  he  was  taken,  examined,  tortured,  tried  on 
August  22,  and,  on  August  23,  hanged  at  Perth.  He 
had  invaded  and  wounded  Herries,  and  Thomas 
Erskine,  and  had  encouraged  the  mob  to  beleaguer 
the  back  gate  of  Gowrie  House,  against  the  King's 
escape.  He  had  been  in  France,  he  said,  since  1589, 
had  come  home  with  Gowrie,  but,  he  swore,  had  not 
spoken  six  words  with  the  Euthvens  during  the  last 
fortnight.2  This  is  odd,  as  he  was  their  Master 
Stabler,  and  as  they,  by  their  friends'  account,  had 
been  making  every  preparation  to  leave  for  Dirleton, 
which  involved  arrangements  about  their  horses. 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  107. 

2  Cranstoun  mentioned  his  long  absence  in  France  to  prove  that  he 
was  not  another  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun,  a  kinsman  of  his,  who  at  this 
time  was  an  outlawed  rebel,  an  adherent  of  Bothwell  (p.  155,  infra). 


In  any  case,  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant,  in  a  house 
in  the  Canongate,  in  November  or  early  December 
1600,  declared  that  Cranstoun,  who,  he  said,  knew 
nothing  of  the  conspiracy,  had  been  hanged,  while 
Henderson,  who  was  in  the  secret,  and  had  taken  the 
turret  part,  escaped,  and  retained  his  position  as 
Chamberlain  of  Scone.  Henderson,  at  the  critical  mo- 
ment, had  '  fainted,'  said  Oliphant ;  that  is,  had  failed 
from  want  of  courage.  Oliphant  went  on  to  say  that 
he  himself  had  been  with  Gowrie  in  Paris  (February- 
March  1600),  and  that,  both  in  Paris  and  at  home 
in  Scotland  later,  Gowrie  had  endeavoured  to  induce 
him  to  take  the  part  later  offered  to  Henderson. 
He  had  tried,  but  in  vain,  to  divert  Gowrie's  mind 
from  his  dangerous  project.  This  talk  of  Oliphant's 
leaked  out  (through  Lyn  as  we  know),  and  Oliphant, 
says  Nicholson,  c  fled  again.' l 

Of  Oliphant  we  learn  no  more  till  about  June 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  107. 
'  George  Nicolson  to  Sir  Robert  Cecil. 

•  •••••••• 

4  A  man  of  Cannagate  speaking  that  one  Mr.  Ro:  Oliphant,  lyeng  at 
his  house,  should  haue  complayned  and  said  that  "there  was  no  justice 
in  Scotland,  for  favlters  skaped  fre  and  innocentis  were  punished.  Mr. 
Thomas  Cranston  was  execute  being  innocent,  and  Henderson  saued. 
That  therle  of  Go  wry  had  moued  that  matter  to  him  (Oliphant)  in 
Paris  and  here,  that  he  had  wth  good  reasons  deverted  him,  that  therle 
thereon  left  him  and  delt  wth  Henderson  hi  that  matter,  that  Henderson 
vndertooke  it  and  yet  fainted,  and  Mr.  Thomas  Cranston  knew  nothing 
of  it  and  yet  was  executed."  This  I  heare,  and  that  this  Oliphant  that 
was  Gowries  servant  is,  vpon  this  mans  speache  of  it,  againe  fled. 
The  heades  of  Gowry  and  his  brother  are  sett  vpon  the  tolebuthe  here 
this  day.  ....... 

'  Edenfc.  the  5  of  Decernb.  1600.' 


1608.  At  that  time,  the  King,  in  England,  heard  a 
rumour  that  he  had  been  connected  with  the  con- 
spiracy.    A    Captain    Patrick    Heron1    obtained    a 
commission  to  find  Oliphant,   and   arrested  him  at 
Canterbury  :  he  was  making  for  Dover  and  for  France. 
Heron  seized   Oliphant's  portable   property,    '  eight 
angels,  two  half  rose-nobles,  one  double  pistolet,  two 
French  crowns  and  a  half,  one  Albertus  angel ;  two 
English  crowns  ;  one  Turkish  piece  of  gold,  two  gold 
rings,  and   a   loose    stone   belonging  to   one ;  three 
Netherland  dollars  ;  one  piece  of  four  royals  ;  two 
quart  decuria  ;  seven  pieces  of  several  coins  of  silver ; 
two  purses,  one  sword  ;  one  trunk,  one  "  mail,"  and 
two  budgetts.'     Oliphant  himself  lay  for  nine  months 
in  '  the   Gate   House    of  Westminster,'    but  Heron, 
'  careless  to  justify  his  accusation,  and  discovering 
his  aim  in  that  business '  (writes  the  King),  '  presently 
departed  from  hence.'     '  We  have  tried  the  innocency 
of  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant,'  James  goes  on,  '  and  have 
freed  him  from  prison.'     The  Scottish  Privy  Council 
is  therefore  ordered,   on   March  6,  1609,   to  make 
Heron   restore    Oliphant's   property.      On   May    16, 

1609,  Heron  was  brought  before  the  Privy  Council  in 
Edinburgh,  and  was  bidden  to  make  restitution.     He 
was  placed  in  the  Tolbooth,  but  released  by  Lindsay, 
the  keeper  of  the  prison.     In  March  1610,  Oliphant 
having   again   gone   abroad,    Heron    expressed    his 

1  The  Captain  was  '  a  landless  gentleman.'  His  wife  owned 
Ranfurdie,  and  the  Captain,  involved  in  a  quarrel  with  Menteith  of 
Kers,  had  been  accused  of — witchcraft !  The  Captain's  legal  affairs 
may  be  traced  in  the  Privy  Council  Begister. 


readiness  to  restore  the  goods,  except  the  trunk  and 
bags,  which  he  had  given  to  the  English  Privy 
Council,  who  restored  them  to  Eobert  Oliphant. 
The  brother  of  Eobert,  Oliphant  of  Bauchiltoun, 
represented  him  in  his  absence,  and,  in  1611,  Eobert 
got  some  measure  of  restitution  from  Heron. 

We  know  no  more  of  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant.1  His 
freedom  of  talk  was  amazing,  but  perhaps  he  had  been 
drinking  when  he  told  the  story  of  his  connection 
with  the  plot.  By  1608  nothing  could  be  proved 
against  him  in  London  :  in  1600,  had  he  not  fled 
from  Edinburgh  in  December,  something  might  have 
been  extracted.  We  can  only  say  that  his  version 
of  the  case  is  less  improbable  than  Henderson's. 
Henderson — if  approached  by  Gowrie,  as  Oliphant  is 
reported  to  have  said  that  he  was — could  not  divulge 
the  plot,  could  not,  like  Oliphant,  a  gentleman,  leave 
Perth,  and  desert  his  employment.  So  perhaps  he 
drifted  into  taking  the  role  of  the  man  in  the  turret. 
If  so,  he  had  abundance  of  time  to  invent  his  most 
improbable  story  that  he  was  shut  up  there  in  igno- 
rance of  the  purpose  of  his  masters. 

Henderson  was  not  always  of  the  lamblike  de- 
meanour which  he  displayed  in  the  turret.  On 
March  5,  1601,  Nicholson  reports  that  'Sir  Hugh 
Herries,'  the  lame  doctor,  '  and  Henderson  fell  out 
and  were  at  offering  of  strokes,'  whence  '  revelations ' 

1  The  proceedings  of  the  English  Privy  Council  at  this  point  are 
lost,  unluckily.  The  Scottish  records  are  in  Privy  Council  Register, 
1608-1611,  s.v.  Oliphant,  Robert,  in  the  Index. 


were  anticipated.  They  never  came,  and,  for  all  that 
we  know,  Herries  may  have  taunted  Henderson  with 
Oliphant's  version  of  his  conduct.  He  was  pretty 
generally  suspected  of  having  been  in  the  conspiracy, 
and  of  having  failed,  from  terror,  and  then  betrayed 
his  masters,  while  pretending  not  to  have  known  why 
he  was  placed  in  the  turret. 

It  is  remarkable  that  Herries  did  not  appear  as  a 
witness  at  the  trial  in  November.  He  was  knighted 
and  rewarded :  every  one  almost  was  rewarded  out 
of  Gowrie's  escheats,  or  forfeited  property.  But  that 
was  natural,  whether  James  was  guilty  or  innocent ; 
and  we  repeat  that  the  rewards,  present  or  in  pro- 
spect, did  not  produce  witnesses  ready  to  say  that 
they  saw  Henderson  at  Falkland,  or  in  the  tumult, 
or  in  the  turret.  Why  men  so  freely  charged  with 
murderous  conspiracy  and  false  swearing  were  so 
dainty  on  these  and  other  essential  points,  the  ad- 
vocates of  the  theory  of  perjury  may  explain.  How 
James  treated  discrepancies  in  the  evidence  we  have 
seen.  His  account  was  the  true  account,  he  would 
not  alter  it,  he  would  not  suppress  the  discrepancies 
of  Henderson,  except  as  to  the  dagger.  Witnesses 
might  say  this  or  that  to  secure  the  King's  princely 
favour.  Let  them  say  :  the  King's  account  is  true. 
This  attitude  is  certainly  more  dignified,  and  wiser, 
than  the  easy  method  of  harmonising  all  versions 
before  publication.  Meanwhile,  if  there  were  dis- 
crepancies, they  were  held  by  sceptics  to  prove  false- 
hood ;  if  there  had  been  absolute  harmony,  that 


would  really  have  proved  collusion.  On  one  point  I 
suspect  suppression  at  the  trial.  Almost  all  versions 
aver  that  Bamsay,  or  another,  said  to  Gowrie,  4  You 
have  slain  the  King,'  and  that  Gowrie  (who  certainly 
did  not  mean  murder)  then  dropped  his  points  and 
was  stabbed.  Of  this  nothing  is  said,  at  the  trial,  by 
any  witnesses. 




WE  now  come  to  the  evidence  which  is  most  fatally 
damaging  to  the  two  unfortunate  Euthvens.  It  is 
the  testimony  of  their  contemporary  Vindication. 
Till  a  date  very  uncertain,  a  tradition  hung  about 
Perth  that  some  old  gentlemen  remembered  having 

O  O 

seen  a  Vindication  of  the  Euthvens ;  written  at 
the  time  of  the  events.1  Antiquaries  vainly  asked 
each  other  for  copies  of  this  valuable  apology.  Was 
it  printed,  and  suppressed  by  Eoyal  order  ?  Did  it 
circulate  only  in  manuscript  ? 

In  1812  a  Mr.  Panton  published  a  vehement 
defence  of  the  Euthvens.  Speaking  of  the  King's 
narrative,  he  says,  '  In  a  short  time  afterwards  a  reply, 
or  counter  manifesto,  setting  forth  the  matter  in  its 
true  light,  written  by  some  friend  of  the  Euthven 
family,  made  its  appearance.  The  discovery  of  this 
performance  would  now  be  a  valuable  acquisition; 
but  there  is  no  probability  that  any  such  exists,  as 

1  See  the  Rev.  Mr.  Scott's  Life  of  John,  Earl  of  Gowrie.  Mr. 
Scott,  at  a  very  advanced  age,  published  this  work  in  1818.  He  relied 
much  on  tradition  and  on  anonymous  MSS.  of  the  eighteenth  century. 


the  Government  instantly  ordered  the  publication  to 
be  suppressed.  .  .  .' 

The  learned  and  accurate  Lord  Hailes,  writing  in 
the  second  half  of  the  eighteenth  century  (1757),  says, 
6  It  appears  by  a  letter  of  Sir  John  Carey,  Governor ' 
(really  Deputy  Governor)  '  of  Berwick,  to  Cecil,  4th 
September,  1600,  that  some  treatise  had  been  pub- 
lished in  Scotland,  in  vindication  of  Gowrie.'  That 
'  treatise,'  or  rather  news-letter,  unsigned,  and  over- 
looked by  our  historians  (as  far  as  my  knowledge 
goes),  is  extant  in  the  Eecord  Office.1  We  can 
identify  it  as  the  document  mentioned  by  Carey 
to  Cecil  in  his  letter  of  September  4,  1600.  Carey 
was  then  in  command  of  Berwick,  the  great  Eng- 
lish frontier  fortress,  for  his  chief,  '  the  brave  Lord 
Willoughby,'  was  absent  on  sick  leave.  On  Sep- 
tember 4,  then,  from  Berwick,  Carey  wrote  to  Sir 
Eobert  Cecil,  '  I  have  thought  good  to  send  you  such ' 
(information)  '  as  I  have  received  out  of  Scotland 
this  morning  on  both  sides,  both  on  the  King's  part 
and  the  Earl's  part,  that  you  may  read  them  both 

Now  we  possess  a  manuscript,  '  The  Verie  Maner 
of  the  Erll  of  Gowrie  and  his  brother  their  Death, 
quha  war  killit  at  Perth,  the  fyft  of  August,  by  the 
Kingis  Servanttis,  his  Majestie  being  present.'  This 
paper  is  directed  to  'My  Lord  Governor,'  and,  as 
Carey  was  acting  for  '  My  Lord  Governor,'  Lord 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  52.     For  the 
document  see  Appendix  B. 



Willoughby,  at  Berwick,  he  received  and  forwarded 
the  document  to  Cecil.  This  is  the  Vindication,  at 
least  I  know  no  other,  and  no  printed  copy,  though 
Nicholson  writes  that  a  '  book  on  the  Euthven  side 
was  printed  in  England'  (October  28,  1600). 

The  manuscript  is  in  bad  condition,  in  parts 
illegible ;  acids  appear  to  have  been  applied  to 
it.  The  story,  however,  from  the  Gowrie  side,  can 
be  easily  made  out.  It  alleges  that,  '  on  Saturday, 
August  1 '  (really  August  2),  the  lame  Dr.  Herries 
came,  on  some  pretext,  to  Gowrie's  house.  '  This 
man  by  my  Lord  was  convoyed  through  the  house, 
and  the  secret  parts  shown  him.' 

Now  there  was  no  '  secret  part '  in  the  house,  as 
far  as  the  narratives  go.  The  entry  to  the  narrow 
staircase  was  inconspicuous,  but  was  noticed  by 
Eamsay,  and,  of  course,  was  familiar  to  Gowrie  and 
his  men.  On  Tuesday,  the  fatal  day  (according  to 
the  Euthven  Vindication),  Gowrie's  retainers  were 
preparing  to  go  with  him  '  to  Lothian,'  that  is  to 
Dirleton,  a  castle  of  his  on  the  sea,  hard  by  North 
Berwick.  The  narrator  argues,  as  all  the  friends  of 
the  Euthvens  did,  that,  if  Gowrie  had  intended  any 
treason,  his  men  would  not  have  been  busy  at  their 
houses  with  preparations  for  an  instant  removal.  The 
value  of  this  objection  is  null.  If  Gowrie  had  a  plot, 
it  probably  was  to  carry  the  King  to  Dirleton  with 
him,  in  disguise. 

The  Master,  the  apology  goes  on,  whom  the  King 
had  sent  for  '  divers  times  before,  and  on  August  5,' 


rode  early  to  Falkland,  accompanied  by  Andrew 
Euthven,  and  Andrew  Henderson.  None  of  James's 
men,  nor  James  himself,  as  we  have  remarked,  saw 
Henderson  at  Falkland,  and  modern  opponents  of  the 
King  deny  (as  the  aforesaid  Mr.  Panton  does)  that 
he  was  there.  Here  they  clash  with  '  The  Verie 
Manner  '  &c.  issued  at  the  time  by  Gowrie's  defen- 
ders. It  avers  that  the  Master,  and  his  two  men,  did 
not  intend  to  return  from  Falkland  to  Perth.  They 
meant  to  sleep  at  Falkland  on  the  night  of  the  Fifth, 
and  meet  Gowrie,  next  day,  August  6,  'at  the  water- 
side,' and  cross  with  him  to  the  south  coast  of  the 
Firth  of  Forth,  thence  riding  on  (as  other  friendly 
accounts  allege)  to  Dirleton,  near  North  Berwick. 
'  And  Andrew  Henderson's  confessions  testified  this.' 
As  published,  they  do  nothing  of  the  sort.  The 
Master  '  took  his  lodging  in  Falkland  for  this  night.' 
Hearing  that  James  was  to  hunt,  the  Master 
breakfasted,  and  went  to  look  for  him.  After  a  con- 
versation with  James,  he  bade  Henderson  ride  back 
to  Perth,  and  tell  Gowrie  that,  'for  what  occasion  he 
knew  not,'  the  King  was  coming.  Now  after  they  all 
arrived  at  Perth,  the  Master  told  Gowrie's  caterer, 
Craigengelt,  that  the  King  had  come,  'because 
Eobert  Abercrombie,  that  false  knave,  had  brought 
the  King  there,  to  make  his  Majesty  take  order  for 
his  debt.' l  This  fact  was  stated  by  Craigengelt  him- 

1  James  himself,  being  largely  in  Abercromby's  debt,  in  1594  gave 
him  '  twelve  monks'  portions '  of  the  Abbacy  of  Cupar. — Act.  Parl 
Scot.  iv.  83,  84. 

G  2 


self,  under  examination.  If  Kuthven  spoke  the 
truth,  he  did  know  the  motive,  or  pretext,  of  the 
King's  coming,  which  the  apologist  denies.  But  Kuth- 
ven was  not  speaking  the  truth  ;  he  told  Craigengelt, 
as  we  saw,  that  he  had  been  '  on  an  errand  not 
far  off.' 

As  to  the  debt,  James  owed  Gowrie  a  large  sum, 
with  accumulated  interest,  for  expenses  incurred  by 
Gowrie's  father,  when  Lord  Treasurer  of  Scotland 
(1583-1584).  James,  in  June  1600,  as  we  shall  see, 
gave  Gowrie  a  year's  respite  from  the  pursuit  of  his 
father's  creditors,  hoping  to  pay  him  in  the  meanwhile. 
Whether  this  exemption  would  not  have  defended 
Gowrie  from  Eobert  Abercromby ;  whether  James 
would  act  as  debt  collector  for  Eobert  Abercromby  (a 
burgess  of  Edinburgh,  the  King's  saddler),  the  reader 
may  decide.  But  the  Master  gave  to  Craigengelt  this 
reason  for  James's  unexpected  arrival,  though  his 
contemporary  apologist  says,  as  to  James's  motive 
for  coming  to  Perth,  that  the  Master  '  knew  nothing? 

Henderson  having  cantered  off  with  his  message, 
James  rode  to  Perth  (nothing  is  said  by  the  apologist 
of  the  four  hours  spent  in  hunting),  '  accompanied  by 
sixty  horsemen,  of  whom  thirty  came  a  little  before 
him.'  No  trace  of  either  the  sixty  or  the  thirty 
appears  anywhere  in  the  evidence.  ISTo  witness 
alludes  to  the  arrival  of  any  of  the  King's  party  in 
front  of  him.  On  hearing  from  Henderson  of  the 
King's  approach,  says  the  Vindication,  Gowrie,  who 
was  dining,  ordered  a  new  meal  to  be  prepared.  All 


the  other  evidence  shows  that  Henderson  came  back 
to  Perth  long  before  Gowrie  dined,  and  that  neverthe- 
less Gowrie  made  no  preparations  at  all.  Gowrie, 
with  four  others,  then  met  the  King,  on  the  Inch  of 
Perth  says  the  apologist.  James  kissed  him  when 
they  met,  the  kiss  of  Judas,  we  are  to  understand. 
He  entered  the  house,  and  all  the  keys  were  given  to 
James's  retainers.  The  porter,  as  we  saw,  really  had 
the  keys,  and  Gowrie  opened  the  garden  gate  with 
one  of  them.  The  apologist  is  mendacious. 

Dinner  was  soon  over.     James  sent  the  Master  to 
bid  Eamsay  and  Erskine  c  follow   him  to  his  cham- 
ber, where  his  Majesty,  Sir   Thomas  Erskine,  John 
Ramsay,  Dr.  Herries,  and  Mr.  Wilson,  being  convened, 
slew  the  Master,  and  threw  him  down  the  stair,  how, 
and  for  what  cause  they  [know  best]  themselves.'    Of 
course  it  is  absolutely  certain  that  the  Master  did  not 
bring  the  other  three  men  to  James,  in  the  chamber 
where    the   Master  was  first  wounded.     Undeniably 
Herries,  Eamsay,  and  Erskine  were  not  brought  by  the 
Master,  at  James's  command,  to  this  room.     They  did 
not  enter  it  till  after  the  cries  of  '  Treason '  were  yelled 
by  James  from  the  window  of  the  turret.     A  servant 
of  James's,    saj^s    the    apologist,    now    brought  the 
news  that  the  King  had   ridden  away.     Cranstoun, 
Gowrie's  man,  really  did  this,  as  he  admitted.    Gowrie, 
the    author  goes  on,  hearing  of  James's  departure, 
called  for  his  horse,  and   went  out  into  the  street. 
There  he  stood  '  abiding  his  horse.'     Now  Cranstoun, 
as  he  confessed,  had  told  Gowrie  that  his  horse  was 


at  Scone,  two  miles  away.  By  keeping  his  horses 
there,  Gowrie  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  accom- 
pany the  Boyal  retinue  as  they  went  on  their  useless 
errand  (p.  21,  supra).  In  the  street  Gowrie  'hears  his 
Majesty  call  on  him  out  at  the  chamber  window,  "  My 
Lord  of  Gowrie,  traitors  has  murdered  your  brother 
already,  and  ye  suffer  me  to  be  murdered  also ! ' 

Nobody  else  heard  this,  and,  if  Gowrie  heard  it, 
how  inept  it  was  in  him  to  go  about  asking  '  What 
is  the  matter  ?  '  He  was  occupied  thus  while  Lennox, 
Mar,  and  the  others  were  rushing  up  the  great  stair- 
case to  rescue  the  King.  James,  according  to  the 
Euthven  apologist,  had  told  Gowrie  what  the  matter 
was,  his  brother  was  slain,  and  slain  by  Erskine,  who, 
while  the  Earl  asked  '  What  is  the  matter  ? '  was  try- 
ing to  collar  that  distracted  nobleman.  The  Master 
had  brought  Erskine  to  the  King,  says  the  apologist, 
Erskine  had  slain  the  Master,  yet,  simultaneously,  he 
tried  to  seize  Gowrie  in  the  street.  Erskine  was  in 
two  places  at  once.  The  apology  is  indeed  '  a  valu- 
able acquisition.'  Gowrie  and  Cranstoun,  and  they 
alone,  the  apologist  avers,  were  now  permitted  by 
James's  servants  to  enter  the  house.  We  know  that 
many  of  James's  men  were  really  battering  at  the 
locked  door,  and  we  know  that  others  of  Gowrie's 
people,  besides  Cranstoun,  entered  the  house,  and 
were  wounded  in  the  scuffle.  Cranstoun  himself 
says  nothing  of  any  opposition  to  their  entry  to  the 
house,  after  Gowrie  drew  his  two  swords. 

Cranstoun,  according  to  the  apologist,  first  entered 


the  chamber,  alone,  and  was  wounded,  and  drawn 
back  by  Gowrie — which  Cranstoun,  in  his  own 
statement,  denies.  After  his  wounds  he  fled,  he  says, 
seeing  no  more  of  Gowrie.  Then,  according  to  the 
apologist,  Gowrie  himself  at  last  entered  the  cham- 
ber ;  the  King's  friends  attacked  him,  but  he  was  too 
cunning  of  fence  for  them.  They  therefore  parleyed, 
and  promised  to  let  him  see  the  King  (who  was  in 
the  turret).  Gowrie  dropped  his  points,  Eamsay 
stabbed  him,  he  died  committing  his  soul  to  God, 
and  declaring  that  he  was  a  true  subject. 

This  narrative,  we  are  told  by  its  author,  is 
partly  derived  from  the  King's  men,  partly  from  the 
confessions  of  Cranstoun,  Craigengelt,  and  Baron 
(accused  of  having  been  in  the  chamber-fight,  and 
active  in  the  tumult).  All  these  three  were  tried 
and  hanged.  The  apologist  adds  that  James's  com- 
panions will  swear  to  whatever  he  pleases.  This 
was  unjust ;  Eamsay  would  not  venture  to  recognise 
the  man  of  whom  he  caught  a  glimpse  in  the  turret, 
and  nobody  pretended  to  have  seen  Henderson  at 
Falkland,  though  the  presence  of  Henderson  at  Falk- 
land and  in  the  chamber  was  an  essential  point.  But, 
among  the  King's  crew  of  perjurers,  not  a  man 
swore  to  either  fact. 

What  follows  relates  to  Gowrie's  character ; 
4  he  had  paid  all  his  father's  debts,'  which  most 
assuredly  he  had  not  done.  As  to  the  causes  of  his 
taking  off,  they  are  explained  by  the  apologist,  but 
belong  to  a  later  part  of  the  inquiry. 


Such  was  the  contemporary  Vindication  of  Gow- 
rie, sent  to  Carey,  at  Berwick,  for  English  reading, 
and  forwarded  by  Carey  to  Cecil.  The  narrative  is 
manifestly  false,  on  the  points  which  we  have  noted. 
It  is  ingeniously  asserted  by  the  vindicator  that 
a  servant  of  James  brought  the  report  that  he  had 
ridden  away.  It  is  not  added  that  the  false  report 
was  really  brought  by  Cranstoun,  and  twice  con- 
firmed by  Gowrie,  once  after  he  had  gone  to  make 
inquiry  upstairs.  Again,  the  apologist  never  even 
hints  at  the  locked  door  of  the  gallery  chamber, 
whereat  Mar,  Lennox,  and  the  rest  so  long  and  so 
vainly  battered.  Who  locked  that  door,  and  why  ? 
The  subject  is  entirely  omitted  by  the  apologist.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  apologist  never  alludes  to  the 
Murrays,  who  were  in  the  town.  Other  writers  soon 
after  the  events,  and  in  our  own  day,  allege  that 
James  had  arranged  his  plot  so  as  to  coincide  with 
the  presence  of  the  Murrays  in  Perth.  What  they 
did  to  serve  him  we  have  heard.  John  Murray  was 
wounded  by  a  Euthven  partisan  after  the  Earl  and 
Master  were  dead.  Some  Murrays  jostled  Gowrie, 
before  he  rushed  to  his  death.  Young  Tullibardine 
helped  to  pacify  the  populace.  That  is  all.  Nothing 
more  is  attributed  to  the  Murrays,  and  the  con- 
temporary apologist  did  not  try  to  make  capital  out 
of  them. 

Though  the  narrative  of  the  contemporary  apo- 
logist for  the  Euthvens  appears  absolutely  to  lack 
evidence  for  its  assertions,  it  reveals,  on  analysis,  a 


consistent  theory  of  the  King's  plot.  It  may  not  be 
verifiable ;  in  fact  it  cannot  be  true,  but  there  is  a 
theory,  a  system,  which  we  do  not  find  in  most  con- 
temporary, or  in  more  recent  arguments.  James, 
by  the  theory,  is  intent  on  the  destruction  of  the 
Euthvens.  His  plan  was  to  bring  the  Master  to 
Falkland,  and  induce  the  world  to  believe  that  it  was 
the  Master  who  brought  him  to  Perth.  The  Master 
refuses  several  invitations ;  at  last,  on  his  way  to 
Dirleton,  he  goes  to  Falkland,  taking  with  him 
Andrew  Euthven  and  Andrew  Henderson.  The  old 
apologist  asserts,  what  modern  vindicators  deny,  that 
Henderson  was  at  Falkland. 

Then  the  Master  sends  Henderson  first,  Andrew 
Euthven  later,  to  warn  Gowrie  that,  for  some  un- 
known reason,  the  King  is  coming.  To  conceal  hi& 
bloody  project  (though  the  apologist  does  not  men- 
tion the  circumstance),  James  next  passes  four  hours 
in  hunting.  To  omit  this  certain  fact  is  necessary 
for  the  apologist's  purpose.  The  King  sends  thirty 
horsemen  in  front  of  him,  and  follows  with  thirty 
more.  After  dinner  he  leaves  the  hall  with  the 
Master,  but  sends  him  back  for  Erskine,  Wilson, 
and  Eamsay.  James  having  secured  their  help,  and 
next  lured  the  Master  into  a  turret,  the  minions 
kill  Euthven  and  throw  his  body  downstairs ;  one 
of  them,  simultaneously,  is  in  the  street.  James  has 
previously  arranged  that  one  of  his  servants  shall 
give  out  that  the  King  has  ridden  away.  This  he 
does  announce  at  the  nick  of  time  (though  Gowrie's 


servant  did  it),  so  that  Gowrie  shall  go  towards  the 
stables  (where  he  expects  to  find  his  horse,  though 
he  knows  it  is  at  Scone),  thus  coming  within  earshot 
of  the  turret  window.  Thence  James  shouts  to  Gowrie 
that  traitors  are  murdering  him,  and  have  murdered 
the  Master.  Now  this  news  would  bring,  not  only 
Gowrie,  but  all  the  Eoyal  retinue,  to  his  Majesty's 
assistance.  But,  as  not  knowing  the  topography  of 
the  house,  the  retinue,  James  must  have  calculated, 
will  run  up  the  main  stairs,  to  rescue  the  King. 
Their  arrival  would  be  inconvenient  to  the  King  (as 
the  nobles  would  find  that  James  has  only  friends 


with  him,  not  traitors),  so  the  King  has  had  the  door 
locked  (we  guess,  though  we  are  not  told  this  by  the 
apologist)  to  keep  out  Lennox,  Mar,  and  the  rest. 
Gowrie,  however,  has  to  be  admitted,  and  killed,  and 
Gowrie,  knowing  the  house,  will  come,  the  King 
calculates,  by  the  dark  stair,  and  the  unlocked  door. 
Therefore  James's  friends,  in  the  street,  will  let  him 
and  Cranstoun  enter  the  house ;  these  two  alone,  and 
no  others  with  them.  They,  knowing  the  narrow 
staircase,  go  up  that  way,  naturally.  As  naturally, 
Gowrie  lets  Cranstoun  face  the  danger  of  four  hostile 
swords,  alone.  Waiting  till  Cranstoun  is  disabled, 
Gowrie  then  confronts,  alone,  the  same  murderous 
blades,  is  disarmed  by  a  ruse,  and  is  murdered. 

This  explanation  has  a  method,  a  system.  Unfor- 
tunately it  is  contradicted  by  all  the  evidence  now  to 
be  obtained,  from  whatever  source  it  comes,  retainers 
of  Gowrie,  companions  of  James,  or  burgesses  of 


Perth.  We  must  suppose  that  Gowrie,  with  his 
small  force  of  himself  and  Cranstoun,  both  fencers 
from  the  foreign  schools,  would  allow  that  force  to  be 
cut  off  in  detail,  one  by  one.  We  must  suppose  that 
Erskine  was  where  he  certainly  was  not,  in  two  places 
at  once,  and  that  Eamsay  and  Herries  and  he,  unseen, 
left  the  hall  and  joined  the  King,  on  a  message 
brought  by  the  Master,  unmarked  by  any  witness. 
We  must  suppose  that  the  King's  witnesses,  who  pro- 
fessed ignorance  on  essential  points,  perjured  them- 
selves on  others,  in  batches.  But,  if  we  grant  that 
Mar,  Lennox,  and  the  rest — gentlemen,  servants, 
retainers  and  menials  of  the  Euthvens,  and  citizens 
of  Perth- -were  abandoned  perjurers  on  some  points, 
while  scrupulously  honourable  on  others  equally 
essential,  the  narrative  of  the  Euthven  apologist 
has  a  method,  a  consistency,  which  we  do  not  find  in 
modern  systems  unfavourable  to  the  King. 

For  example,  the  modern  theories  easily  show 
how  James  trapped  the  Master.  He  had  only  to 
lure  him  into  a  room,  and  cry  '  Treason.'  Then,  even 
if  untutored  in  his  part,  some  hot-headed  young  man 
like  Eamsay  would  stab  Euthven.  But  to  deal  with 
Gowrie  was  a  more  difficult  task.  He  would  be  out 
in  the  open,  surrounded  by  men  like  Lennox  and 
Mar,  great  nobles,  and  his  near  kinsmen.  They 
would  attest  the  innocence  of  the  Earl.  They  must 
therefore  be  separated  from  him,  lured  away  to 
attack  the  locked  door,  while  Gowrie  would  stand 
in  the  street  asking  '  What  is  the  matter  ? '  though 


James  had  told  him,  and  detained  by  the  Murrays  till 
they  saw  fit  to  let  him  and  Cranstoun  go  within  the 
gate,  alone.  Then,  knowing  the  topography,  Gowrie 
and  Cranstoun  would  necessarily  make  for  the  murder- 
chamber,  by  the  dark  stair,  and  perish.  The  Eoyal  wit 
never  conceived  a  subtler  plot,  it  is  much  cleverer 
than  that  invented  by  Mr.  G.  P.  E.  James,  in  his  novel, 
'  Gowrie.'  Nothing  is  wrong  with  the  system  of  the 
apologist,  except  that  the  facts  are  false,  and  the 
idea  a  trifle  too  subtle,  while,  instead  of  boldly  saying 
that  the  King  had  the  gallery  chamber  locked  against 
his  friends,  the  apologist  never  hints  at  that  circum- 

We  have  to  help  the  contemporary  vindicator 
out,  by  adding  the  detail  of  the  locked  door  (which 
he  did  not  see  how  to  account  for  and  therefore 
omitted),  and  by  explaining  that  the  King  had  it 
locked  himself,  that  Lennox,  Mar,  and  the  rest  might 
not  know  the  real  state  of  the  case,  and  that  Gowrie 
might  be  trapped  through  taking  the  other  way,  by 
the  narrow  staircase. 

An  author  so  conspicuously  mendacious  as  he 
who  wrote  the  Apology  for  English  consumption  is 
unworthy  of  belief  on  any  point.  It  does  not  foUow 
that  Henderson  was  really  at  Falkland  because  the 
apologist  says  that  he  was.  But  it  would  appear 
that  this  vindicator  could  not  well  deny  the  circum- 
stance, and  that,  to  work  it  conveniently  into  his 
fable,  he  had  to  omit  the  King's  hunting,  and  to 
contradict  the  Hays  and  Moncrieff  by  making  Hender- 


son  arrive  at   Perth   after   twelve   instead  of  about 
ten  o'clock. 

The  value  of  the  Apology,  so  long  overlooked,  is 
to  show  how  very  poor  a  case  was  the  best  that  the 
vindicator  of  the  Euthvens  was  able  to  produce. 
But  no  doubt  it  was  good  enough  for  people  who 
wished  to  believe.1 

1  Mr.  Henderson,  in  his  account  of  William,  Earl  of  Gowrie,  in 
the  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,  mentions  '  The  Vindication  of 
the  Ruthvens '  in  his  list  of  authorities.  He  does  not  cite  the  source, 
as  in  MS.  or  hi  print ;  and  I  know  not  whether  he  refers  to  '  The  Verie 
Manner  &c.,'  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  52.  The 
theory  of  Mr.  Scott  (1818)  is  much  akin  to  that  of  'The  Verie  Manner,' 
which  he  had  never  seen. 



So  far,  the  King's  narrative  is  least  out  of  keeping 
with  probability. 

But  had  James  been  insulted,  menaced,  and 
driven  to  a  personal  struggle,  as  he  declared?  Is 
the  fact  not  that,  finding  himself  alone  with  Euthven, 
and  an  armed  man  (or  no  armed  man,  if  you  believe 
that  none  was  there),  James  lost  his  nerve,  and  cried 
'  Treason  ! '  in  mere  panic  ?  The  rest  followed  from 
the  hot  blood  of  the  three  courtiers,  and  the  story 
of  James  was  invented,  after  the  deaths  of  the  Gow- 
ries,  to  conceal  the  truth,  and  to  rob  by  forfeiture 
the  family  of  Euthven.  But  James  had  certainly 
told  Lennox  the  story  of  Euthven  and  the  pot  of 
gold,  before  they  reached  Perth.  If  he  came  with 
innocent  intent,  he  had  not  concocted  that  story  as 
an  excuse  for  coming. 

We  really  must  be  consistent.  Mr.  Barbe,  a 
recent  Euthven  apologist,  says  that  the  theory  of  an 
accidental  origin  of  c  the  struggle  between  James 
and  Euthven  may  possibly  contain  a  fairly  accurate 
conjecture.' l  But  Mr.  Barbe  also  argues  that  James 
had  invented  the  pot  of  gold  story  before  he  left 

1  Barbe,  p.  124. 


Falkland ;  that,  if  James  was  guilty,  '  the  pretext  had 
been  framed ' — the  myth  of  the  treasure  had  been 
concocted — '  long  before  their  meeting  in  Falkland, 
and  was  held  in  readiness  to  use  whenever  circum- 
stances required.'  If  so,  then  there  is  no  room  at 
all  for  the  opinion  that  the  uproar  in  the  turret  was 
accidental,  but  Mr.  Barbe's  meaning  is  that  James  thus 
forced  a  quarrel  on  Euthven.  For  there  was  no  captive 
with  a  pot  of  gold,  nor  can  accident  have  caused  the 
tragedy,  if  Euthven  lured  James  to  Falkland  with  the 
false  tale  of  the  golden  hoard.  That  tale,  confided 
by  James  to  Lennox  on  the  ride  to  Perth,  was  either 
an  invention  of  the  King's — in  which  case  James  is 
the  crafty  conspirator  whom  Mr.  Bruce,  in  1602, 
did  not  believe  him  to  be  (as  shall  be  shown) ; —  or  it 
is  true  that  Euthven  brought  James  to  Perth  by 
the  feigned  story — in  which  case  Euthven  is  a  con- 
spirator. I  reject,  for  reasons  already  given,  the 
suggestion  that  Lennox  perjured  himself,  when  he 
swore  that  James  told  him  about  Euthven's  narrative 
as  to  the  captive  and  his  hoard.  For  these  reasons 
alone,  there  is  no  room  for  the  hypothesis  of  acci- 
dent :  either  James  or  Euthven  was  a  deliberate 
traitor.  If  James  invented  the  pot  of  gold,  he  is  the 
plotter :  if  Euthven  did,  Euthven  is  guilty.  There 
is  no  via  media,  no  room  for  the  theory  of  accident. 

The  via  media,  the  hypothesis  of  accident,  was 
suggested  by  Sir  William  Bowes,  who  wrote  out 
his  theory,  in  a  letter  to  Sir  John  Stanhope,  from 
Bradley,  on  September  2,  1600.  Bowes  had  been 


English  ambassador  in  Scotland,  probably  with  the 
usual  commission  to  side  with  the  King's  enemies, 
and  especially  (much  as  Elizabeth  loathed  her  own 
Puritans)  with  the  party  of  the  Kirk.  His  coach 
had  been  used  for  the  kidnapping  of  an  English 
gentleman  then  with  James,  while  the  Governor  of 
Berwick  supplied  a  yacht,  in  case  it  seemed  better  to 
carry  off  the  victim  by  sea  (1599).  Consequently 
Bowes  was  unpopular,  and  needed,  and  got,  a  guard 
of  forty  horsemen  for  his  protection.  He  was  no 
friend,  as  may  be  imagined,  of  the  King. 

Bowes  had  met  Preston,  whom  James  sent  to 
Elizabeth  with  his  version  of  the  Gowrie  affair. 
Bowes's  theory  of  it  all  was  this  :  James,  the  Master, 
4  and  one  other  attending '  (the  man  of  the  turret) 
were  alone  in  a  chamber  of  Gowrie  House.  Speech 
arose  about  the  late  Earl  of  Gowrie,  Euthven's  father, 
whether  by  occasion  of  his  portrait  on  the  wall,  or 
otherwise.  '  The  King  angrily  said  he  was  a  traitor, 
whereat  the  youth  showing  a  grieved  and  expostu- 
latory  countenance,  and  haplie  Scotlike  words,  the 
King,  seeing  himself  alone  and  without  weapon,  cried 
Treason ! '  The  Master  placed  his  hand  on  James's 
mouth,  and  knelt  to  deprecate  his  anger,  but  Earn- 
say  stabbed  him  as  he  knelt,  and  Gowrie  was  slain, 
Preston  said,  after  Eamsay  had  made  him  drop  his 
guard  by  crying  that  the  King  was  murdered.  The 
tale  of  the  conspiracy  was  invented  by  James  to 
cover  the  true  state  of  the  case.1 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  64. 


This  Bowes  only  puts  forth  as  a  working  hypo- 
thesis. It  breaks  down  on  the  King's  narrative  to 
Lennox  about  Euthven's  captive  and  hoard.  It 
breaks  down  on  c  one  other  attending ' — the  man  in 
the  turret — whatever  else  he  may  have  been,  he  was 
no  harmless  attendant.  It  breaks  down  on  the  locked 
door  between  the  King,  and  Lennox  and  Mar,  which 
Bowes  omits.  It  is  ruined  by  Gowrie's  repeated 
false  assurances  that  the  King  had  ridden  away, 
which  Bowes  ignores. 

The  third  hypothesis,  the  via  media,  is  impossible. 
There  was  a  deliberate  plot  on  one  side  or  the  other. 
To  make  the  theory  of  Bowes  quite  clear,  his  letter 
is  appended  to  this  section.1 

1  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  64. 

Sir  William  Bowes  to  Sir  John  Stanhope,  Sept.  2,  1600. 

Sr  I  attending  hir  Mties  embassadr  toward  Newcastle  happened  to 
meet  wyth  Mr  Preston  then  on  his  waie  from  his  king  to  hir  Mtie.  In 
renewing  a  former  acquaintance,!  found  verie  willing  to  possesse 
me  wyth  his  report  of  the  death'of  Gowrie  and  his  brother,  in  the  cir- 
cumstances wherof  sundrie  ibingis-  occurring  Ji^fvilie  probable  I  was 
not  curious  to  lett  him  3ee  that  wyse  men  wv^'vs  stumbled  therat. 
And  therfor  I  thought  yt  wysdom  in  the  king  to  deliuer  his  honor  to 
the  warld  and  espeaiallie  to  her  Mtie.  And  in  this  as  in  other  albeit  I 
am  not  ignorant  that.^he  actions  of  princes  must  chalenge  the  Fairest 
interpretation  Yet  because  in  deed  truthe  symplie  canne  doe  no  wrong 
And  that  we  owe  o  dearest  and  nearest  truthes  to  or  soueraygnes  in 
this  matter  so  precisely  masked  lett  me  deliuer  to^youe  what  For  myne 
own  part  I  doe  belieue. 

The  King  being  readfe  tc  take  hcrse  was*  v/j'iihctrawen  in  discourse 
with  the  Mr  of  Gowrie,  a  learned  swee£  and.  hurtles  yong  gentleman, 
and  one  other  attending.  Now_were  it  b;y  occasion  of  a  picture  (as  is 
sayde)  or  otherwise,  speech  happening  of  Earle  Gowrie  his  father 
executed,  the  king  angrelie  sayde  he  was  a  traitour,  whereat  the  youth 
showing  a  greeved  and  expostulatorie  countenance  and  happelie  Scot- 
like  Woordis,  the  King,  seeing  hymself  alone  and  wythout  weapon,  cryed, 
Treason,  Treason.  The  Mr  abashed  much  to  see  the  king  so  apprehend 




c  f 


yt,  whilest  the  king  wold  call  to  the  Lords,  the  Dnke,  Marre,  and  others 
that  were  attending  in  the  court  on  the  king  comming  to  horse,  putt 
his  hand  with  earnest  deprecations  to  staie  the  king,  showing  his 
countenance  to  them  wythout  in  that  moode,  immediatlie  falling  on 
his  knees  to  entreat  the  King.  At  the  K.  sound  of  Treason,  from  out 
of  the  Lower  Chamber  hastelie  running  Harris  the  physician  Ramsey 
his  page  and  Sr  Thomas  Erskyn  came  to  where  the  king  was  Where 
Ramsey  runne  the  poore  gentleman  thorough,  sitting  as  is  saide  vpon 
his  knees. 

At  this  stirr  the  earle  wyth  his  Mr  Stablere  and  somme  other,  best 
knowing  the  howse  and  the  wayes,  came  first  to  the  slaughter  where 
finding  his  brother  dead  and  the  king  retyred  (For  they  had  perswaded 
hym  into  a  countinghouse)  some  fight  beganne  between  the  earle  and 
the  others.  Mr  Preston  saies  that  vpon  thar  relation  that  the  king  was 
slayne  the  earle  shronke  from  the  pursuyte,  and  that  one  of  the  afor- 
named  rushing  sodainlee  to  the  earle  thrust  hym  through  that  he  fell 
down  and  dyed.  This  matter  seeming  to  haue  an  accidentall  begin- 
ning, to  gyve  it  an  honorable  cloake  is  pursued  wyth  odious  treasons 
coniurations  &c.  imputed  to  the  dead  earle,  wyth  the  death  of  the 
Mr  Stabler,  Wyth  making  knyghtis  the  actor%  And  manye  others  such  as 
I  know  are  notified  to  you  long  ere  this.  The  ministers  as  I  heare  are 
asked  to  make  a  thankgyving  to  god,  where  they  think  more  need  of 
Fasting  in  Sackclothe  and  Ashes,  to  the  kingis  much  discontenting. 
This  I  must  not  saie  (as  the  scholers  terme  yt)  to  be  categoricallie  true, 
but  heupatheticallie  l  I  take  yt  so  to  be.  Wherevpon  maie  be  inferred 
that  as  the  death  of  the^  twoe  Fii-^t  .maie  be  excused  by  tendering  the 

•  •*  /l    I  1        it  j    1         *      "¥""•"  '  *.ll^  1*  P  1**  "1       •  J    • 

From  Bradley ^Ms«2de  of  Sept. 

Yor  poore  Frend'to  commannd. 


•  **\  .,  .  '  Hypothetically  ? ' 





THE  most  resolute  sceptics  as  to  the  guilt  of  the 
Ruthvens  were  the  Edinburgh  preachers.  They  were 
in  constant  opposition  to  the  King,  and  the  young 
Gowrie  was  their  favourite  nobleman.  As  to  what 
occurred  when  the  news  of  the  tragedy  reached 
Edinburgh,  early  on  July  6,  we  have  the  narrative  of 
Mr.  Eobert  Bruce,  then  the  leader  of  the  Presby- 
terians. His  own  version  is  printed  in  the  first 
volume  of  the  Bannatyne  Club  Miscellany,  and  is 
embodied,  with  modifications,  and  without  acknow- 
ledgment (as  references  to  such  sources  were  usually 
omitted  at  that  period),  in  Calderwood's  History. 

It  is  thus  better  to  follow  Mr.  Bruce's  own 
account,  as  far  as  it  goes. 

The  preachers  heard  the  '  bruit,'  or  rumour  of 
the  tragedy,  by  nine  o'clock  on  the  morning  of 
August  6.  By  ten  o'clock  arrived  a  letter  from 
James  to  the  Privy  Council:  the  preachers  were 
called  first  '  before  the  Council  of  the  town,'  and  the 
King's  epistle  was  read  to  them.  '  It  bore  that  his 
Majesty  ivas  delivered  out  of  a  peril,  and  therefore 
that  we  should  be  commanded  to  go  to  our  Kirks, 

H   2 


convene  our  people,  ring  bells,  and  give  God  praises.' 
While  the  preachers  were  answering,  the  Privy  Council 
sent  for  the  Provost  and  some  of  the  Town  Council. 

The  preachers  then  went  to  deliberate  in  the 
East  Kirk,  and  decided  '  that  we  could  not  enter 
into  the  particular  defence  of  (the  existence  of?) 
'  the  treason,  seeing  that  the  King  was  silent  of  the 
treason  in  his  own  letter,  and  the  reports  of  courtiers 
varied  among  themselves.' 

This  is  not  easily  intelligible.  The  letter  from 
Falkland  of  which  Nicholson  gives  an  account  on 
August  6,  was  exceedingly  '  particular  as  to  the 
treason.'  It  is  my  impression,  based  mainly  on  the 
Burgh  Eecords  quoted  by  Pitcairn,  that  the  letter 
with  full  particulars  cited  by  Nicholson,  was  written, 
more  or  less  officially,  by  the  notary,  David  Moysie, 
who  was  at  Falkland,  and  that  the  Kinsf's  letter  was 

7  O 

brief,  only  requiring  thanksgiving  to  be  offered.  Yet 
Nicholson  says  that  the  letter  with  details  (written 
by  the  King  he  seems  to  think),  was  meant  for  the 
preachers  as  well  as  for  the  Privy  Council  (cf.  p.  38, 

The  preachers,  in  any  case,  were  now  brought 
before  the  Privy  Council  and  desired,  by  Montrose, 
the  Chancellor,  to  go  to  church,  and  thank  God  for  the 
King's  '  miraculous  delivery  from  that  vile  treason.' 
They  replied  that  '  they  could  not  be  certain  of  the 
treason,'  but  would  speak  of  delivery  '  from  a  great 
danger.'  Or  they  would  wait,  and,  when  quite  sure 
of  the  treason,  would  blaze  it  abroad. 


'  They  '  (the  Council)  '  said  it  should  be  sufficient 
to  read  his  Majesty's  letter.' 

This  appears  to  mean  that  the  preachers  would 
content  the  Lords  by  merely  reading  James's  letter 
aloud  to  the  public. 

'  We  answered  that  we  could  not  read  his  letter ' 
(aloud  to  the  people  ?  )  '  and  doubt  of  the  truth  of  it. 
It  would  be  better  to  say  generally,  "  if  the  report  be 
true," ' 

The  preachers  would  have  contented  the  Lords 
by  merely  reading  James's  letter  aloud  to  their  con- 
gregations. But  this  they  declined  to  do ;  they 
wished,  in  the  pulpit,  to  evade  the  Royal  letter,  and 
merely  to  talk,  conditionally,  of  the  possible  truth 
of  the  report,  or  '  bruit.'  This  appears  to  have  been 
a  verbal  narrative  brought  by  Graham  of  Balgonie, 
which  seemed  to  vary  from  the  long  letter  probably 
penned  by  Moysie.  At  this  moment  the  Eev.  David 
Lindsay,  who  had  been  at  Falkland,  and  had  heard 
James's  story  from  his  own  mouth,  arrived.  He, 
therefore,  was  sent  to  tell  the  tale  publicly,  at  the 
Cross.  The  Council  reported  to  James  that  the  six 
Edinburgh  preachers  '  would  in  no  ways  praise  God 
for  his  delivery.'  In  fact,  they  would  only  do  so  in 
general  terms. 

On  August  12,  James  took  the  preachers  to  task. 
Bruce  explained  that  they  could  thank,  and  on 
Sunday  had  thanked  God  for  the  King's  delivery, 
but  could  go  no  further  into  detail,  '  in  respect  we 
had  no  certainty.'  '  Had  you  not  my  letter  ?  '  asked 


the  King.  Bruce  replied  that  the  letter  spoke  only 
'  of  a  danger  in  general.'  Yet  the  letter  reported 
by  Nicholson  was  '  full  and  particular,'  but  that  letter 
the  preachers  seem  to  have  regarded  as  unofficial. 
'  Could  not  my  Council  inform  you  of  the  particulars  ? ' 
asked  the  King.  The  President  (Fyvie,  later  Chan- 
cellor Dunfermline)  said  that  they  had  assured  the 
preachers  of  the  certainty  of  the  treason.  On  this 
Bruce  replied  that  they  had  only  a  report,  brought 
orally  by  Balgonie,  and  a  letter  by  Moysie,  an 
Edinburgh  notary  then  at  Falkland,  and  that  these 
testimonies  '  fought  so  together  that  no  man  could 
have  any  certainty.'  The  Secretary  (Elphinstone, 
later  Lord  Balmerino)  denied  the  discrepancies. 

James  now  asked  what  was  the  preachers' 
present  opinion  ?  They  had  heard  the  King  him- 
self, the  Council,  and  Mar.  Bruce  replied  that,  as 
a  minister,  he  was  not  fully  persuaded.  Four  of 
the  preachers  adhered  to  their  scepticism.  Two, 
Hewat  and  Eobertson,  now  professed  conviction. 
The  other  four  were  forbidden  to  preach,  under 
pain  of  death,  and  forbidden  to  come  within  ten 
miles  of  Edinburgh.  They  offered  terms,  but  these 
were  refused.  The  reason  of  James's  ferocity  was 
that  the  devout  regarded  the  preachers  as  the 
mouthpieces  of  God,  and  so,  if  they  doubted  his 
word,  the  King's  character  would,  to  the  godly, 
seem  no  better  than  that  of  a  mendacious  murderer. 

From  a  modern  point  of  view,  the  ministers, 
if  doubtful,  had  a  perfect  right  to  be  silent,  and 


one  of  them,  Hall,  justly  objected  that  he  ought 
to  wait  for  the  verdict  in  the  civil  trial  of  the  dead 
Euthvens.  We  shall  meet  this  Hall,  and  Hewatt  (one 
of  the  two  ministers  who  professed  belief),  in  very 
strange  circumstances  later  (p.  217).  Here  it  is  enough 
to  have  explained  the  King's  motives  for  severity. 

In  September  the  recalcitrants  came  before  the 
King  at  Stirling.  All  professed  to  be  convinced 
(one,  after  inquiries  in  Fife),  except  Bruce.  We 
learn  what  happened  next  from  a  letter  of  his  to 
his  wife.  He  had  heard  from  one  who  had  been  at 
Craigengelt's  execution  (August  23),  that  Craigen- 
gelt  had  then  confessed  that  Henderson  had  told 
him  how  he  was  placed  by  Gowrie  in  the  turret.1 
Bruce  had  sent  to  verify  this.  Moreover  he  would 
believe,  if  Henderson  were  hanged,  and  adhered 
to  his  deposition  to  the  last  :  a  pretty  experiment ! 
The  Comptroller  asked,  '  Will  you  believe  a  con- 
demned man  better  than  the  King  and  Council  ? ' 
Mr.  Bruce  admitted  that  such  was  his  theory  of 
the  Grammar  of  Assent.  '  If  Henderson  die  peni- 
tently I  will  trust  him.'  Later,  as  we  shall  see,  this 

pleasing  experiment  was  tried  in  another  case,  but, 
though  the  witness  died  penitently,  and  clinging  to 
his  final  deposition,  not  one  of  the  godly  sceptics 
was  convinced. 

'But  Henderson  saved  the  King's  life,'  replied 
the  Comptroller  to  Mr.  Bruce, 

4  As  to  that  I  cannot  tell,'   said  Mr.  Bruce,  and 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  84. 


added  that,  if  Henderson  took  the  dagger  from 
Euthven,  he  deserved  to  die  for  not  sheathing  it  in 
Euthven's  breast. 

Henderson  later,  we  know,  withdrew  his  talk 
of  his  seizure  of  the  dagger,  which  James  had  never 
admitted.  James  now  said  that  he  knew  not  what 
became  of  the  dagger. 

'  Suppose,'  said  the  Comptroller,  '  Henderson 
goes  back  from  that  deposition  ? ' 

'  Then  his  testimony  is  the  worse,'  said  Mr.  Bruce. 

'  Then  it  were  better  to  keep  him  alive,'  said  the 
Comptroller  ;  but  Mr.  Bruce  insisted  that  Henderson 
would  serve  James  best  by  dying  penitently.  James 
said  that  Bruce  made  him  out  a  murderer.  '  If  I 
would  have  taken  their  lives,  I  had  causes  enough ' 
(his  meaning  is  unknown),  '  I  need  not  have  ha- 
zarded myself  so.'  By  the  '  causes,'  can  James  have 
meant  Gowrie's  attempts  to  entangle  him  in  negotia- 
tions with  the  Pope  ? l  These  were  alleged  by  Mr. 
Galloway,  in  a  sermon  preached  on  August  11,  in 
the  open  air,  before  the  King  and  the  populace  of 
Edinburgh  (see  infra,  p.  128). 

Mar  wondered  that  Bruce  would  not  trust  men 
who  (like  himself)  heard  the  King  cry,  and  saw 
the  hand  at  his  throat.  Mr,  Bruce  said  that  Mar 
might  believe,  '  as  he  were  there  to  hear  and  see.' 

He  was  left  to  inform  himself,  but  Calderwood 
says,  that  the  story  about  Craigengelt's  dying  con- 
fession was  untrue.  Bruce  had  frankly  given  the 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  248  et  seq. 


lie  to  the  King  and  Mar,  though  he  remarked  that 
he  had  never  heard  Mar  and  Lennox  tell  the  tale 
fc  out  of  their  own  mouths.'  Mar  later  (September  24) 
most  solemnly  assured  Mr.  Bruce  by  letter,  that 
the  treason,  '  in  respect  of  that  I  saw,'  was  a  certain 
fact.  This  he  professed  6  before  God  in  heaven.' 
Meanwhile  Mr.  Hall  was  restored  to  his  Edinburgh 
pulpit,  and  Mr.  Bruce,  after  a  visit  to  Restalrig, 
a  place  close  to  Edinburgh  and  Leith,  went  into 
banishment . l  If  he  stayed  with  the  Laird  of  Ees talrig, 
he  had,  as  will  presently  appear,  a  strange  choice  in 
friends  (pp.  148-167). 

A  later  letter  of  Bruce's  now  takes  up  the  tale. 
In  1601,  Bruce  was  in  London,  when  Mar  was  there 
as  James's  envoy.  They  met,  and  Bruce  said  he 
was  content  to  abide  by  the  verdict  in  the  Gowrie 
trial  of  November  1600.  What  he  boggled  at,  hence- 
forward, was  a  public  apology  for  his  disbelief,  an 
acceptance,  from  the  pulpit,  of  the  King's  veracity, 
as  to  the  events.  In  London,  Bruce  had  found  that 
the  Puritans,  as  to  the  guilt  of  Essex  (which  was 
flagrant),  were  in  the  same  position  as  himself,  re- 
garding the  guilt  of  Gowrie.2  But  they  bowed  to 
the  law,  and  so  would  he — '  for  the  present.' 

The  Puritans  in  England  would  not  preach  that 
they  were  persuaded  of  the  guilt  of  Essex,  nor  would 
Bruce  preach  his  persuasion  of  the  guilt  of  Gowrie, 
'  from  my  knowledge  and  from  my  persuasion.'  He 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  98.  2  Ibid.  vi.  130. 


assured  Mar  '  that  it  was  not  possible  for  any  man  to 
be  fully  persuaded,  or  to  take  on  their  conscience, 
but  so  many  as  saw  and  heard.'  However  Bruce 
is  self-contradictory.  He  would  be  persuaded,  if 
Henderson  swung  for  it,  adhering  to  his  statement. 
Such  were  Mr.  Bruce's  theories  of  evidence.  He 
added  that  he  was  not  fully  persuaded  that  there 
was  any  hell  to  go  to,  yet  probably  he  scrupled  not 
to  preach  '  tidings  of  damnation.'  He  wanted  to  be 
more  certain  of  Gowrie's  guilt,  than  he  was  that  there 
is  hell-fire.  '  Spiteful  taunts  '  followed,  Mar's  re- 
partee to  the  argument  about  hell  being  obvious. 
Bruce  must  have  asserted  the  existence  of  hell,  from 
the  pulpit :  though  not  '  fully  persuaded '  of  hell. 
So  why  not  assert  the  King's  innocence  ? 

Bruce  returned  later  to  Scotland,  and  met  the 
King  in  April  1602.  Now,  he  said,  according  to 
Calderwood,  that  he  was  '  resolved,'  that  is,  con- 
vinced. What  convinced  him  ?  Mar's  oath.  '  How 
could  he  swear  ?  '  asked  James  ;  '  he  neither  saw  nor 
heard '  -that  is,  what  passed  between  James,  the  man 
in  the  turret,  and  the  Master.  '  I  cannot  tell  you 
how  he  could  swear,  but  indeed  he  swore  very 
deeply,'  said  Bruce,  and  reported  the  oath,  which 
must  have  been  a  fine  example.  James  took  Bruce's 
preference  of  Mar's  oath  to  his  own  word  very  calmly. 
Bruce  was  troubled  about  the  exact  state  of  affairs 
between  James  and  the  Master.  '  Doubt  ye  of  that  ? ' 
said  the  King,  '  then  ye  could  not  but  count  me  a 
murderer.'  '  It  followeth  not,  if  it  please  you,  Sir,' 


said  Mr.  Eobert,  'for  ye  might  have  had  some  secret 
cause' l 

Strange  ethics  !  A  man  may  slay  another,  with- 
out incurring  the  guilt  of  murder,  if  he  has  '  a  secret 
cause.'  Bruce  probably  referred  to  the  tattle  about 
a  love  intrigue  between  Gowrie,  or  Euthven,  and  the 
King's  wife.  Even  now,  James  kept  his  temper.  He 
offered  his  whole  story  to  Bruce  for  cross-examina- 
tion. '  Mr.  Eobert  uttered  his  doubt  where  he  found 
occasion.  The  King  heard  him  gently,  and  with  a 
constant  countenance,  which  Mr.  Eobert  admired.' 
But  Mr.  Eobert  would  not  preach  his  belief:  would 
not  apologise  from  the  pulpit.  CI  give  it  but  a 
doubtsome  trust,'  he  said. 

Again,  on  June  24,  1602,  James  invited  cross- 
examination.  Bruce  asked  how  he  could  possibly 
know  the  direction  of  his  Majesty's  intention  when 
he  ordered  Eamsay  to  strike  the  Master.  ;I  will 
give  you  leave  to  pose  me  '  (interrogate  me),  said 

'  Had  you  a  purpose  to  slay  rny  Lord  ?  ' — that  is, 

6  As  I  shall  answer  to  God,  I  knew  not  that  my 
Lord  was  slain,  till  I  saw  him  in  his  last  agony,  and 
was  very  sorry,  yea,  prayed  in  my  heart  for  the 

4  What  say  ye  then  concerning  Mr.  Alexander  ? ' 

4 1  grant  I  was  art  and  part  in  Mr.  Alexander's 
slaughter,  for  it  was  in  my  own  defence.' 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  147.  2  Ibid.  vi.  156. 


'Why  brought  you  not  him  to  justice,  seeing  you 
should  have  God  before  your  eyes  ?  ' 

'  I  had  neither  God  nor  the  Devil,  man,  before 
my  eyes,  but  my  own  defence.' 

'  Here  the  King  began  to  fret,'  and  no  wonder. 
He  frankly  said  that  '  he  was  one  time  minded  to 
have  spared  Mr.  Alexander,  but  being  moved  for 
the  time,  the  motion '  (passion)  '  prevailed.'  He 
swore,  in  answer  to  a  question,  that,  in  the  morning, 
he  loved  the  Master  '  as  his  brother.' 

Bruce  was  now  convinced  that  James  left  Falk- 
land innocent  of  evil  purpose,  but,  as  he  was  in 
a  passion  and  revengeful,  while  struggling  with  the 
Master,  '  he  could  not  be  innocent  before  God.' 

Here  we  leave  Mr.  Bruce.  He  signed  a  declara- 
tion of  belief  in  James's  narrative  ;  public  apologies 
in  the  pulpit  he  would  not  make.  He  was  banished 
to  Inverness,  and  was  often  annoyed  and  c  put  at,' 
James  reckoning  him  a  firebrand. 

The  result,  on  the  showing  of  the  severe  and 
hostile  Calderwood,  is  that,  in  Bruce's  opinion,  in 
June  1602,  James  was  guiltless  of  a  plot  against  the 
Euthvens.  The  King's  crime  was,  not  that  strangely 
complicated  project  of  a  double  murder,  to  be  in- 
ferred from  the  Euthven  apology,  but  words  spoken 
in  the  heat  of  blood.  Betrayed,  captured,  taunted, 
insulted,  struggling  with  a  subject  whom  he  had 
treated  kindly,  James  cried  to  Eamsay  '  Strike  low  ! ' 
He  knew  not  the  nature  and  extent  of  the  conspiracy 
against  him,  he  knew  not  what  knocking  that  was  at 


the  door  of  the  chamber,  and  he  told  Eamsay  to 
strike  ;  we  have  no  assurance  that  the  wounds  were 

This  is  how  the  matter  now  appeared  to  Mr.  Bruce. 
The  King  swore  very  freely  to  the  truth  of  his  tale,  and 
that  influenced  Bruce,  but  the  King's  candour  as  to 
what  passed  in  his  own  mind,  when  he  bade  Eamsay 
strike  Euthven,  is  more  convincing,  to  a  modern  critic, 
than  his  oaths.  For  some  reason,  Bruce's  real  point, 
that  he  was  satisfied  of  the  King's  innocence  of  a 
plot,  but  not  satisfied  as  regards  his  yielding  to 
passion  when  attacked,  is  ignored  by  the  advocates 
of  the  Euthvens.  Mr.  Barbe  observes  :  '  What  slight 


success  there  ever  was  remained  on  Bruce's  side,  for, 
in  one  conference,  he  drew  from  the  King  the  con- 
fession that  he  might  have  saved  Euthven's  life,  and 
brought  him  to  justice.'  That  confession  shows  un- 
expected candour  in  James,  but  does  not  in  the 
slightest  degree  implicate  him  in  a  conspiracy,  and  of 
a  conspiracy  even  the  rigid  Bruce  now  acquitted  the 
King.  Mr.  Pitcairn,  at  first  a  strong  King's  man,  in 
an  appendix  to  his  third  volume  credits  Bruce  with 
the  best  of  the  argument.  This  he  does,  illogically, 
because  the  King  never  ceased  to  persecute  Bruce, 
whom  he  thought  a  firebrand.  However  wicked  this 
conduct  of  James  may  have  been,  it  in  no  way  affects 
the  argument  as  to  his  guilt  in  the  conspiracy.  Of  that 
Mr.  Bruce  acquitted  the  King.  Calderwood's  words 
(vi.  156)  are  '  Mr.  Eobert,  by  reason  of  his  oaths, 
thought  him  innocent  of  any  purpose  that  day  in  the 


morning  to  slay  them.  Yet  because  he  confessed  he 
had  not  God  or  justice  before  his  eyes,  but  was  in  a 
heat  and  mind  to  revenge,  he  could  not  be  innocent 
before  God,  and  had  great  cause  to  repent,  and  to 
crave  mercy  for  Christ's  sake.'  The  thing  is  perfectly 
clear.  Bruce  acquitted  James  of  the  infamous  plot 
against  the  Euthvens.1  What,  then,  was  the  position 
of  the  Euthvens,  if  the  King  was  not  the  conspirator  ? 
Obviously  they  were  guilty,  whether  James,  at  a 
given  moment,  was  carried  away  by  passion  or  not. 

1  Mr.  Bruce  appears  to  have  gone  to  France  in  1599-1600,  to  call 
Gowrie  home.  In  a  brief  account  of  his  own  life,  dictated  by  him- 
self at  about  the  age  of  seventy  (1624),  he  says,  '  I  was  in  France 
for  the  calling  of  the  Master '  (he  clearly  means  Earl)  '  of  Gowrie  ' 
(Wodrow's  '  Life  of  the  Rev.  Robert  Bruce,'  p.  10,  1843).  Calderwood 
possessed,  and  Wodrow  (circ.  1715)  acquired,  two  '  Meditations  '  by 
Mr.  Bruce  of  August  3,  4,  1600.  Wodrow  promises  to  print  them,  but 
does  not,  and  when  his  book  was  edited  in  1843,  they  could  not  be 
found.  He  says  that  '  Mr.  Bruce  appears  to  have  been  prepared,  in 
Providence,'  for  his  Gowrie  troubles,  judging  (apparently)  by  these 
{  Meditations.'  But  Mr.  Henry  Paton  has  searched  for  and  found 
the  lost  '  Meditations '  in  MS.,  which  are  mere  spiritual  outpourings. 
Wodrow's  meaning  is  therefore  obscure.  Mr.  Bruce  had  great  celebrity 
as  a  prophet,  but  where  Wodrow  found  rophecy  in  the  '  Meditations  ' 
of  August  3,  4,  1600,  is  not  apparent  (Wodrow's  '  Bruce,'  pp.  83,  84. 
Wodrow  MSS.|  Advocates'  Library,  vol.  xliv.  No.  35). 




CALDEKWOOD  has  preserved  for  us  the  objections 
taken  by  sceptics  to  the  King's  narrative.1  First,  the 
improbability  of  a  murderous  conspiracy,  by  youths  so 
full  of  promise  and  Presbyterianism  as  Gowrie  and 
his  brother.  To  Gowrie's  previous  performances  we 
return  later.  The  objection  against  a  scheme  of 
murder  hardly  applies  to  a  plan  for  kidnapping  a 
King  who  was  severe  against  the  Kirk. 

The  story  of  the  pot  of  gold,  and  the  King's 
desire  to  inspect  it  and  the  captive  who  bore  it, 
personally,  and  the  folly  of  thinking  that  one  pot  of 
gold  could  suffice  to  disturb  the  peace  of  the  country, 
are  next  adversely  criticised.  We  have  already  re- 
plied to  the  criticism  (p.  40).  The  story  was  well 
adapted  to  entrap  James  VI. 

The  improbabilities  of  Euthven's  pleas  for  haste 
need  not  detain  us  :  the  King  did  not  think  them 

Next  it  was  asked  '  Why  did  James  go  alone  up- 
stairs with  Euthven  ? ' 

He  may  have  had  wine  enough  to  beget  valour, 
or,  as  he  said,  he  may  have  believed  that  he  was 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  49,  66-76. 


being  followed  by   Erskine.     The   two  reasons  may 
well  have  combined. 

'Why  did  not  Gowrie  provide  better  cheer,  if 
forewarned  ? '  (by  Henderson  ?)  it  was  asked. 

To  give  the  impression,  we  reply,  that  he  was 
taken  by  surprise,  and  that  the  King  came  uninvited 
and  unexpected. 

'  Why  did  Kuthven  aim  a  dagger  at  James,  and 
then  hold  parley  ?  ' 

Because  he  wanted  to  frighten  the  King  into 
being  '  at  his  will.' 

'  How  could  Euthven  trust  the  King,  with  the 
armed  man  alone  in  the  turret  ? ' 

What  else  could  he  do  ?  He  locked  them  in,  and 
was,  through  the  failure  of  the  man,  in  a  quandary 
which  made  clear  reflection  necessary — and  impossible. 

'  It   was   strange   that   the   man   had   not   been 


trained  in  his  task.' 

If  Oliphant  is  correctly  reported,  he  had  been 
trained,  but  fi  fainted.' 

6  Why  bind  the  King  with  a  garter  ? ' 

In  helpless  pursuit  of  the  forlorn  idea  of  captur- 
ing him. 

'  Why  execute  the  enterprise  when  the  courtiers 
were  passing  the  window  ? ' 

Euthven  could  not  have  known  that  they  were 
coming  at  that  moment ;  it  was  Gowrie's  ill-timed 
falsehoods,  to  the  effect  that  the  King  had  ridden 
away,  which  brought  them  there.  Gowrie  had  not 
allowed  for  Henderson's  failure. 


'  How  could  the  King  struggle  successfully  with 
the  stalwart  Master  ?  ' 

He  fought  for  his  life,  and  Euthven  probably 
even  then  did  not  wish  to  injure  him  bodily. 

'  Why  was  not  the  Master  made  prisoner  ? ' 

James  answered  this  question  when  '  posed '  by 
Mr.  Bruce.  His  blood  was  up,  and  he  said  'Strike!' 

'  The  Earl  likewise  might,  after  he  was  stricken, 
have  been  preserved  alive.' 

Perhaps — by  miracle  ;  he  died  instantly. 

The  discrepancies  as  to  the  dagger  and  the 
opening  of  the  window  we  have  already  treated,  also 
the  locking  and  unlocking,  or  leaving  unlocked,  of 
the  chamber  door,  giving  on  the  dark  staircase,  after 
Euthven's  last  hurried  entrance  (p.  69). 

There  follow  arguments,  to  be  later  considered, 
about  the  relations  between  James  and  the  Earl 
previous  to  the  tragedy,  and  a  statement,  with  no 
authority  cited,  that  James  had  written  to  Gowrie's 
uncle,  to  meet  him  at  Perth  on  August  5,  implying 
that  James  had  made  up  his  mind  to  be  there,  and 
did  not  go  on  Euthven's  sudden  invitation. 

'  The  Earl  and  Cranstoun  were  alone  with  the 
four  in  the  fatal  chamber.  The  others  who  were 
wounded  there  went  up  after  Gowrie's  death.' 

It  may  be  so,  but  the  bulk  of  the  evidence  is  on 
the  other  side. 

'It  is  reported'  that  Henderson  was  eating  an 
egg  in  the  kitchen,  and  went  into  the  town  when  the 
fray  arose. 



It  is  also  denied,  on  oath,  by  Gowrie's  cook,  who 
added  that  he  was  '  content  to  be  hanged,'  if  it  could 
be  proved.1 

The  Euthven  apologist  (MS.)  says  that  Henderson 
was  waiting  on  the  Lords  who  dined  in  the  hall,  and 
was  there  when  the  King's  servant  brought  the  news 
that  the  King  had  ridden  away. 

'  The  Master's  sword,  after  his  death,  was  found 
rusted  tight  in  his  scabbard.' 

The  Master  must  have  been  a  very  untidy  gallant. 
No  authority  is  cited  for  the  story. 

The  Hurrays  (who  were  well  rewarded)  were  in 
Perth,  '  whether  of  set  purpose  let  the  reader 

By  all  means  let  the  reader  judge. 

The  King  knew  Henderson  (so  the  anonymous 
Goodman  of  Pitmillie  said),  but  did  not  recognise  the 
man  in  the  turret.  It  was  reported  that  Patrick 
Galloway,  the  king's  chaplain,  induced  Henderson  to 
pretend  to  be  the  man  in  the  turret. 

As  to  the  good  man  of  Pitmillie,  Calderwood  did 
not  even  know  his  name.  This  is  mere  gossip. 

A^ain,  Calderwood,  who  offers   these   criticisms, 

~      '  7 

does  not  ask  why,  of  all  concerned,  Henderson  was 
the  only  man  that  fled  who  'had  not  been  seen  in 
connection  with  the  fray  and  the  tumult.  If  he  was 
not  the  man  of  the  turret,  and  if  Andrew  Euthven. 
who  also  had  ridden  to  Falkland,  did  not  abscond, 
why  did  Henderson  ? 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  196. 


As  to  the  man  in  the  turret,  if  not  a  retainer  of 
Euthven,  he  was  a  minion  of  James,  or  there  was  no 
man  at  all.  If  there  was  no  man  at  all,  could  James 
be  so  absurd  as  to  invent  him,  on  the  off  chance  that 
somebody,  anybody,  would  turn  up,  and  claim  to 
have  been  the  man  ?  That  is,  frankly,  incredible. 
But  if  James  managed  to  insert  a  man  into  the  turret, 
he  was  not  so  silly  as  not  to  have  his  man  ready  to 
produce  in  evidence.  Yet  Henderson  could  not  be 
produced,  he  had  fled,  and  certainly  had  not  come  in 
by  August  12,  when  he  was  proclaimed. 

That  James  had  introduced  and  suborned  Hender- 
son and  that  Henderson  fled  to  give  tone  and  colour 
to  his  narrative,  is  not  among  the  most  probable  of 
conjectures.  I  do  not  find  that  this  desperate  hypo- 
thesis was  put  forward  at  the  time.  It  could  not  be, 
for  apologists  averred  (1)  that  Henderson  was  eating 
an  egg  in  the  kitchen  :  (2)  that  he  was  waiting  on  the 
gentlemen  in  the  hall,  at  the  moment  when,  by  the 
desperate  hypothesis,  he  was,  by  some  machination  of 
James,  in  the  turret :  (3)  there  is  a  third  myth,  a  Perth 
tradition,  that  Henderson  had  been  at  Scone  all  day, 
and  first  heard  the  tragic  news,  when  all  was  over, 
as,  on  his  return,  he  crossed  the  bridge  over  Tay. 
As  it  is  incredible  that  there  was  no  man  in  the 
turret  at  all,  and  that  James  took  the  outside  chance 
that  somebody,  anybody,  would  claim  to  be  the  man  ; 
the  assailants  of  the  King  must  offer  a  working 
hypothesis  of  this  important  actor  in  the  drama. 
My  own  fancy  can  suggest  none.  Was  he  in  four 

i  2 


places  at  once,  in  the  kitchen,  in  the  hall,  on  the 
bridge,  and  in  the  turret  ?  If  he  was  in  the  kitchen, 
in  the  hall,  or  on  the  bridge,  why  did  he  instantly 
abscond  ?  If  James  put  him  in  the  turret,  why  did 
he  fly  ? 

The  King's  word,  I  repeat,  was  the  word  that  no 
man  could  rely  on.  But,  among  competing  improba- 
bilities, the  story  which  was  written  on  the  night  of 
August  5,  and  to  which  he  adhered  under  Bruce's 
cross-examination,  is  infinitely  the  least  improbable. 
The  Master  of  Gray,  an  abominable  character,  not 
in  Scotland  when  the  events  occurred,  reported,  not 
from  Scotland,  that  Lennox  had  said  that,  if  put  on 
his  oath,  '  he  could  not  say  whether  the  practice 
proceeded  from  Gowrie  or  the  King.'  (Sept.  30, 

The  Master  of  Gray  wrote  from  Chillingham,  on 
the  English  side  of  the  Border,  where  he  was  playing 
the  spy  for  Cecil.  Often  he  played  the  double  spy, 
for  England  and  for  Rome.  Lennox  may  well  have 
been  puzzled,  he  may  have  said  so,  but  the  report 
rests  on  the  evidence  of  one  who  did  not  hear 
his  words,  who  wished  to  flatter  the  scepticism  of 
James's  English  enemies,  and  whose  character 
(though  on  one  point  he  is  unjustly  accused)  reeks 
with  infamy. 

That  of  James  does  not  precisely  '  smell  sweet 
and  blossom  in  the  dust.'  But  if  the  question  arises, 
whether  a  man  of  James's  position,  age,  and  tempera- 
ment, or  whether  a  young  man,  with  the  antecedents 


which  we  are  about  to  describe,  was  the  more  likely 
to  embark  on  a  complicated  and  dangerous  plot — in 
James's  case  involving  two  murders  at  inestimable 
personal  risk — it  is  not  unnatural  to  think  that  the 
young  man  is  the  more  likely  to  '  have  the  wyte  of 



HAVING  criticised  the  contemporary  criticism  of  the 
Gowrie  affair,  we  must  look  back,  and  examine  the 
nature  of  Gowrie's  ancestral  and  personal  rela- 
tions with  James  before  the  day  of  calamity.  There 
were  grounds  enough  for  hatred  between  the  King 

c  c*  *—' 

and  the  Earl,  whether  such  hatred  existed  or  not,  in 
a  kind  of  hereditary  feud,  and  in  political  differences. 
As  against  James's  grandmother,  Mary  of  Guise, 
the  grandfather  of  Gowrie,  Lord  Euthven,  had  early 
joined  the  Eeformers,  who  opposed  her  in  arms. 
Later,  in  1566,  it  was  Gowrie's  grandfather  who  took 
the  leading  part  in  the  murder  of  Eiccio.  He  fled 
to  England,  and  there  died  soon  after  his  exploit, 
beholding,  it  was  said,  a  vision  of  angels.  His  son, 
Gowrie's  father  (also  one  of  the  Eiccio  murderers), 
when  Mary  was  imprisoned  in  Loch  Leven  (June  1567) 
was  in  charge  of  her,  but  was  removed,  '  as  he  began 
to  show  great  favour  to  her,  and  gave  her  intelli- 
gence.' x  Mary  herself,  through  the  narrative  of  ISTau, 
her  secretary,  declares  that  Euthven  (then  a  married 

1  Bain,  Calendar,  ii.  350 ;  Nau,  p.  59. 


man)  persecuted  her  by  his  lust.  He  aided  Lindsay 
in  extorting  her  abdication  at  Loch  Leven.  Such 
was  his  record  as  regards  Mary :  James  too  had  little 

O  i/ 

reason  to  love  him. 

The  early  reign  of  James  in  Scotland  was  a  series 
of  Court  revolutions,  all  of  the  same  sort.  James  was 
always  either,  unwillingly,  under  nobles  who  were 
allies  of  Elizabeth,  and  who  used  the  Kirk  as  their 
instrument,  or  under  vicious  favourites  who  delivered 
him  from  these  influences.  When  Morton  fell  in 
1581,  the  King  was  under  D'Aubigny  (Lennox),  a 
false  Protestant  and  secret  Catholic  intriguer,  and 
Arran  (Captain  James  Stewart),  a  free  lance,  and,  in 
religion,  an  Indifferent.  Lennox  entangled  James  in 

o  O 

relations  with  the  Guises  and  Catholic  Powers ;  Gowrie, 
and  the  Protestant  nobles,  being  threatened  by  Arran 
and  Lennox,  captured  James,  in  an  insulting  manner, 
at  Gowrie's  castle  of  Euthven.  He  came  as  a  guest, 
for  hunting;  he  remained  a  prisoner.  (1582.)  The 
Kirk  approved  and  triumphed :  James  waited  and 
dissembled,  while  Gowrie  was  at  the  head  of  the 
Government.  In  June  1583,  James,  by  a  sudden 
flight  to  St.  Andrews  Castle,  where  his  friends  sur- 
rounded him,  shook  himself  free  of  Gowrie,  who, 
however,  secured  a  pardon  for  his  share  in  James's 
capture,  in  the  '  Eaid  of  Euthven  'of  1582.  Lennox 
being  dead,  the  masterful  and  unscrupulous  Arran 
now  again  ruled  the  King,  and  a  new  Lennox  came 
from  France,  the  Duke  of  Lennox  who  was  present 
at  the  tragedy  of  August  5,  1600. 


The  Lords  who  had  lost  power  by  James's  escape 
to  St.  Andrews  now  conspired  anew.  Angus,  Mar,  and 
others  were  to  march  on  Stirling,  Gowrie  was  waiting 
at  Dundee.  (April  1584)  Arran  knew  of  the  plot,  and 
sent  Colonel  Stewart  to  arrest  Gowrie.  After  holding 
his  house  against  Stewart's  men,  the  Earl  was  taken 
and  carried  to  Edinburgh.  The  other  Lords,  his  allies, 
failed  and  fled.  Gowrie  was  brought  to  trial.  He 
had  a  pardon  for  the  Eaid  of  Euthven,  he  had  done 
nothing  ostensible  in  the  recent  rising,  which  followed 
his  capture  at  Dundee.  Nevertheless  he  was  tried, 
condemned,  executed,  and  forfeited.  There  exists  a 
manuscript  of  the  date,  which,  at  least,  shows  what 
Gowrie's  friends  thought  of  the  method  by  which  his 
conviction  was  procured.  Arran  and  Sir  Eobert 
Melville,  it  is  said,  visited  him  in  prison,  and  advised 
him  to  make  his  peace  with  James.  How  was  that 
to  be  done  ?  Gowrie  entreated  for  the  kind  offices  of 
Melville  and  Arran.  They  advised  him  to  write  to 
the  King  confessing  that  he  had  been  in  several 
conspiracies  against  his  person  which  he  could 
reveal  in  a  private  interview.  '  I  should  confess  an 
untruth,'  said  Gowrie,  '  and  frame  my  own  indict- 

The  letter,  the  others  urged,  being  general,  would 
move  the  King's  curiosity  :  he  would  grant  an  in- 
terview, at  which  Gowrie  might  say  that  the  letter 
was  only  an  expedient  to  procure  a  chance  of  stating 
his  own  case. 

Gowrie,  naturally,  rejected  so  perilous  a  practice. 


4  You  must  confess  the  foreknowledge  of  these 
things,'  said  Arran,  '  or  you  must  die.' 

Gowrie  replied  that,  if  assured  of  his  life,  he 
would  take  the  advice,  Arran  gave  his  word  of 
honour  that  Gowrie  should  be  safe.  He  wrote  the 
letter,  he  received  no  answer,  but  was  sent  to 
Stirling.  He  was  tried,  nothing  was  proved  against 
him,  and  Arran  produced  his  letter  before  the 
Court.  Gowrie  was  called,  confessed  to  his  hand- 
writing, and  told  the  tale  of  Arran's  treachery, 
which  he  repeated  to  the  people  from  the  scaffold. 

This  is,  brieity,  the  statement  of  a  newsletter 
to  England,  written,  as  usual,  against  the  Govern- 
ment, and  in  the  Protestant  interest.1  A  manuscript 
in  the  British  Museum  gives  a  somewhat  different 
version.2  One  charge  against  Gowrie,  we  learn,  was 
that  of  treasonable  intercommuning  with  Hume  of 
Godscroft,  an  envoy  of  the  Earl  of  Angus,  who,  before 
Gowrie's  arrest,  was  arranging  a  conspiracy.  This 
charge  was  perfectly  true.  Godscroft,  in  his  History 
of  the  Douglases  (ii.  317-318),  describes  the  circum- 
stances, and  mentions  the  very  gallery  whose  door 
resisted  Lennox  and  Mar  on  August  5,  1600.  Gods- 
croft rode  from  the  Earl  of  Angus  to  Gowrie  in 
his  house  at  Perth.  fc  Looking  very  pitifully  upon 
his  gallery,  where  we  were  walking  at  that  time, 
which  he  had  but  newly  built  and  decored  with 

1  Form  of  certain  Devices^  &c.     See  Papers  relating  to  William, 
Earl  of  Gowrie,  London,  1867,  pp.  25-29. 

2  Form  of  examination  and   death   of  William,  Earl   of   Gowrie. 
British  Museum,  Caligula,  c.  viii.  fol.  23. 


pictures,  he  brake  out  into  these  words,  having  first 
fetched  a  deep  sigh.  u  Cousin"  says  he,  "  is  there  no 
remedy?  Et  impius  haec  tarn  culta  novalia  mites 
habebit  ?  Barbarus  has  segetes  ?  '  Whereupon  Gods- 
croft  was  persuaded  of  his  sincerity,  and  at  his 
return  persuaded  the  Earl  of  Angus  thereof  also.' 
So  the  plot  went  on,  Gowrie  pretending  that  he 
meant  to  leave  the  country,  says  his  accomplice, 
Godscroft,  while  both  the  Court  and  the  conspirators 
were  uncertain  as  to  his  trimming  intentions.  He 
trimmed  too  long  ;  he  was  taken,  the  plot  exploded 
and  failed.  Gowrie  was  thus  within  the  danger  of 
the  law,  for  treasonablv  concealing  foreknowledge  of 

*/  <-^ 

the  conspiracy. 

According  to  the  British  Museum  MS.,  Gowrie 
now  told  the  jury  that  he  was  being  accused  on  the 
strength  of  his  own  letter,  treacherously  extorted 
under  promise  of  life,  by  Montrose,  Doune,  Maitland, 
Melville,  Colonel  Stewart,  and  the  Captain  of  Dumbar- 
ton, not  by  Arran.  In  Gowrie's  letter  of  confession, 
to  the  King,  as  printed  by  Spottiswoode,  he  does  not 
mention  Godscroft,  but  another  intriguer,  Erskine. 
However,  in  this  letter  he  certainly  confesses  his 
concern  with  the  conspiracy.  But,  says  the  MS.,  the 
nobles  charged  by  Gowrie  with  having  betrayed  him 
under  promise  of  life  denied  the  accusations  on  oath. 
Gowrie  himself,  according  to  another  copy  of  the 
MS.,  denied  knowing  Hume  of  Godscroft ;  if  he  did, 
he  spoke  untruly,  teste  Godscroft. 

However  matters  really  stood,  the  Earl's  friends. 


at  all  events,  believed  that  he  had  been  most  cruelly 
and  shamefully  betrayed  to  the  death,  and,  as  the 
King  was  now  eighteen,  they  would  not  hold  him 

These  were  not  the  only  wrongs  of  the  Euthvens. 
While  the  power  of  Arran  lasted  (and  it  was,  on  the 
whole,  welcome  to  James,  though  he  had  moments 
of  revolt),  the  family  of  Euthven  was  persecuted. 
The  widow  of  Gowrie  was  a  daughter  (see  Appen- 
dix A)  of  Henry  Stewart,  Lord  Methven,  who,  as  a 
young  man,  had  married  Margaret,  sister  of  Henry 
VIII,  widow  of  James  IV,  and  divorced  from 
the  Earl  of  Angus.  As  this  lady,  our  Gowrie's 
mother,  knelt  to  implore  the  pity  of  James  in  the 
street  after  her  Lord's  death,  Arran  pushed  her 
aside,  and  threw  her  down.  He  received  the  Earl's 
forfeited  estate  and  castle  of  Dirleton,  near  North 

In  October  1585,  Arran  fell,  in  his  turn  ;  Angus, 
Mar,  and  others  drove  him  into  retirement.  James 
acquiesced ;  his  relations  with  the  house  of  Mar 
remained  most  friendly.  The  house  of  Euthven 
was  now  restored  to  its  lands  and  dignities,  in  1586, 
the  new  Earl  being  James,  who  died  in  early  youth. 
He  was  succeeded  by  his  brother,  the  Gowrie  of  our 
tragedy,  who  was  born  about  1577.  He  had  many 
sisters ;  the  eldest,  Mary,  married  the  Earl  of  Atholl, 
a  Stewart,  in  January  1580.  Lady  Gowrie  was 
thus  mother-in-law  of  the  Earl  of  Atholl,  who  died 
at  Gowrie  House  in  August  1594.  Her  grand- 


daughter,  Dorothea  (daughter  of  Atholl  and  Mary 
Euthven,  sister  of  our  Gowrie),  in  1604  married 
that  younw  Tullibardine  who  was  in  Perth  at  the 

«/  o 

tragedy  of  August  5,  1600.  Lady  Atholl  is  said  to 
have  opposed  the  marriage.  Another  sister  of 
Gowrie,  Sophia,  married  (before  1600,  she  was 
dead  by  that  time)  the  Duke  of  Lennox  who  was 
at  the  slaughter  of  the  Euthvens.  Another  sister, 
Beatrix,  was  Maid  of  Honour  to  James's  Queen, 
and  later  married  Hume  of  Cowdenknowes  ;  hence 
come  the  Earls  of  Home.  Gowrie  had  two  younger 
brothers,  Patrick  and  William,  who  fled  to  England 
from  his  castle  of  Dirleton,  the  day  after  the  tragedy, 
and  were  forfeited  and  persecuted  by  James  ;  Patrick 
was  long  imprisoned  in  the  Tower. 

The  new  Earl,  John,  the  victim  of  1600,  does  not 
come  into  public  notice  till  1592,  when  he  was 
elected  Provost  of  Perth.  He  went  to  Edinburgh 
University  ;  his  governor  was  the  respected  Mr.  Eol- 
lock.  Here  a  curious  fact  occurs.  On  August  12, 
1593,  young  Gowrie  read  his  thesis  for  his  Master's 
degree.  Three  weeks  earlier,  on  July  24,  the  wild 
Francis  Stewart,  Earl  of  Bothwell,  had  captured,  in 
Holyrood,  his  King,  who  was  half  dressed  and  un- 
trussed.  James  at  the  time  was  suspected  of 
favouring  the  Catholic  Earls  of  the  North,  Huntly, 
Errol,  and  a  new  unpresbyterian  Angus.  The  King 
was  on  ill  terms  with  the  Kirk ;  England  had  secretly 
abetted  Bothwell ;  the  clan  of  Stewart,  including 
Lennox,  lent  aid  and  countenance,  but  BothweWs 


success  was  due  to  Gowrie  s  mother,  the  widow  of 
the  decapitated  Earl,  and  to  his  sister,  Lady  Atholl. 
Bothwell  entered  Lady  Gowrie's  house,  adjoining  the 
palace,  spent  the  night  there,  stole  into  Holyrood  by 
a  passage-way  left  open  by  Lady  Atholl,  and  ap- 
peared before  the  King,  sword  in  hand,  when  his 
Majesty  was  half  dressed.  Meanwhile  our  Gowrie, 
reading  for  his  thesis,  may  not  have  been  unin- 
terested in  the  plot  of  his  mother  and  sister.  This 
was,  in  a  way,  the  second  successful  Euthven  plot  to 
seize  the  King  ;  the  first  was  the  Eaid  of  Euthven. 
The  new  success  was  not  enduring.  James  shook  off 
Bothwell  in  September  1593,  and.  in  October, 
Gowrie's  brother-in-law  Atholl,  with  our  Gowrie  him- 
self, entered  into  alliance  with  Bothwell  against  King 
James,  and  offered  their  services  to  Queen  Eliza- 

James  moved  out  against  Atholl,  Gowrie,  and 
the  Master  of  Montrose,  who  were  at  Castle  Doune, 
intending  to  join  hands  with  Bothwell,  and  seize  the 
King.  But  Bothwell  found  the  plan  impracticable : 
Atholl  fled ;  Gowrie  and  the  Master  of  Montrose 
were  pursued  and  taken.  No  harm  was  done  to 
them :  their  excuses  were  accepted,  but  young 
Gowrie  and  Atholl  continued  to  conspire.  In  April, 
1594,  Atholl,  signing  for  himself  and  Gowrie,  and 
Bothwell,  signing  for  his  associates,  wrote  a  mani- 
festo to  the  Kirk.  They  were  in  arms,  they  said,  for 
Protestant  purposes,  and  wished  commissioners  from 
among  the  preachers  to  attend  them,  and  watch  their 


proceedings.1  Bothwell  then  took  action,  he  made  a 
demonstration  in  arms  against  Edinburgh,  but  the 
forces  of  Atholl  and  Gowrie  did  not  arrive  and  Both- 
well  retreated.  Atholl  was  threatened  for  this  affair, 
but  pardoned  by  the  King,  and  died  in  August. 

In  the  same  month  Gowrie  informed  the  Town 
Council  of  Perth  that  he  was  going  to  study  abroad. 
They  retained  him  in  the  position  of  Provost.     He 
went,    with   his    tutor,    Mr.    Ehynd,    to   Padua,   an 
university  where  Protestantism  was  protected  by  the 
toleration  of  the  Republic  of  Venice,  and  where  there 
was  an  Anglo-Scottish  '  Nation '  among  the  students. 
In  '  The  Return  from  Parnassus,'  a  satirical  play  of 
1601,  we  find  Gullio,  the  admirer   of  Shakespeare, 
professing   to   have   studied   at   Padua.     Gowrie    is 
said   to   have   been   elected    Rector,   but   I   cannot 
find  his  name  in  the  lists.     He  does  appear  in  the 
roll    of    Scottish    scholars,    some   of    them   charac- 
terised   (unlike   the   English    scholars)    by    personal 
marks.     Most  have  scars  on  the  face  or  hand ;  Archi- 
bald Douglas  has  a  scar   on  the  brow  from  left  to 
right.    James  Lindsay,  of  Gowrie's  year  (1596-1597), 
has  also  a  scar  on  his  brow.     Next  him  is  Andrew 
Keith,   with    a    scar    on   his   right   hand,    and  then 
Dominus  loannes  Ruthuen,  Scotus,  cum  signo  albo  in 
mento,  '  with  a  white  mark  on  his  chin.'     Then  we 
have  his  luckless  tutor,  Mr.  Ehynd,  who  was  tortured, 
Scotus    cum    ledigine    super  facie.     Robert    Ker   of 
Newbattle    ('  Kerrus    de    Heubattel ')    is   another   of 

1  Thorpe,  Calendar^  ii.  650 


Gowrie's  college  companions.  All  were  students  of 
law.  Magic  was  not  compulsory  at  Padua,  though 
Gowrie  was  said  to  have  studied  that  art.1 

Concerning  Gowrie's  behaviour  at   Padua  but  a 

< — ' 

single  circumstance  is  known.  Probably  through  one 
of  his  fellow-students,  Douglas,  Ker,  Keith,  Lindsay 
or  another,  the  report  reached  Scotland  that  the 
young  Earl  had  left  in  Padua  '  a  strange  relique,'  an 
emblematic  figure  emblazoned ;  and  had  made,  on  the 
subject,  a  singular  remark.  The  emblematic  figure 
represented  '  a  blackamoor  reaching  at  a  crown  with 
a  sword,  in  a  stretched  posture : '  the  remark  of 
Gowrie,  '  the  Earl's  own  mot]  was  to  the  effect  that 
the  emblem  displayed,  in  umbra,  or  foreshadowed, 
what  was  to  be  done  in  facto.  This  emblem  was 
secured  at  Padua,  in  1609,  by  Sir  Eobert  Douglas, 
who  had  heard  of  it  in  Scotland,  and  it  was  sent  to 
King  James.2 

If  such  ideas  were  in  Gowrie's  mind,  he  showed 
no  signs  of  them  in  an  early  correspondence  with  the 
King.  In  1595,  James  wrote  '  a  most  loving  letter '  to 
Gowrie  ;  the  Earl  replied  in  a  tone  of  gratitude.  At 
the  same  time  Gowrie  wrote  to  a  preacher  in  Perth, 
extolling  the  conduct  of  an  English  fanatic,  who  had 
thrown  down  and  trampled  on  the  Host,  at  Eome. 
He  hoped,  he  said,  when  he  returned  to  Scotland,  '  to 

1  De  Natione  Anglica  et  Scota  Juristarum   Universitatis  Pata- 
vinae  lo.  Aloys.  Andrich.     Patavii,  1892,  pp.  172,  173. 

2  Ottavio  Baldi  to  the  King,  June  22, 1609.    Record  Office.    Venice, 
No.  14,  1608-1610.     See    infra,   Appendix  A,    '  Gowrie's  Arms   and 


amend  whatever  is  amiss  for  lack  of  my  presence.'  l 
Nevertheless,  on  December  25,  1598,  Nicholson 
informed  Cecil  that  Gowrie  had  been  converted  to 
Catholicism.2  In  the  Venice  despatches  and  Vatican 
transcripts  I  find  no  corroboration.  Gowrie  ap- 
pears to  have  visited  Borne ;  the  Euthven  apologist 
declares  that  he  was  there  '  in  danger  for  his  religion  ' 

o  o 

Galloway,  on  August  11,  1600,  in  presence  of  the  King 
and  the  people  of  Edinburgh,  vowed  that  Gowrie, 
since  his  return  from  Italy,  had  laboured  to  make 
James  '  revolt  from  Eeligion,  at  least  in  inward 
sincerity,  to  entertain  purpose  with  the  Pope,  and  he 
himself  promised  to  furnish  intelligence.' 

If  so,  Gowrie  was,  indeed,  '  a  deep  dissimulate 

Galloway's  informant  must  have  been  the  King. 
If  Gowrie  did  or  said  anything  to  colour  the  story,  it 
may  have  been  for  the  purpose  of  discovering,  by 
pretending  to  approve  of  them,  these  intrigues  with 
Eome,  of  which  James  was  constantly  being  accused. 

A  new  complexity  is  added  here,  by  a  list  of 
Scottish  Catholic  nobles,  ready  to  join  an  invading 

1  Gowrie's  letters  of  1595  are  in  Pitcairn. 

8  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixiii,  No.  85. 

G.  Nicolson  to  Sir  Robert  Cecil. 

Edinborough,  25  December,  1598. 

•  ••••••• 

'  I  heare  Gowry  is  become  a  papist.  But  the  K.  takes  little  care  to 
this,  And  yet  sure  it  importes  him  most  to  se  to  it,  vnlest  he  accompt 
otherwais  of  it  than  he  hath  cause,  except  he  haue  other  pollicy  than  I 
will  conjecture.'  Compare  Galloway's  sermon,  in  Pitcairn,  ii.  249,  and 
A  Short  Discourse,  ii.  231,  232. 


Spanish  force,  which  the  Earl  of  Bothwell  handed  in 
to  Philip  III.  of  Spain,  at  a  date  not  absolutely 
certain.  At  a  time  conjectured  at  by  Major  Hume, 
as  1600,  Bothwell  laid  before  the  Spanish  ministry 
a  scheme  for  an  invasion  of  Scotland.  He  made 
another  more  elaborate  proposal  at  a  date  which,  to 
all  seeming,  was  July  1601.  In  the  appended  list 
of  Scottish  Catholic  nobles  appear  the  names  of  the 
Earl  of  Gowrie,  and  of  '  Baron  Eastellerse,'  that  is, 
Logan  of  Eestalrig.  But,  in  1601,  there  was  no  Earl 
of  Gowrie  ;  the  title  was  extinct,  the  lands  were 
forfeited,  and  Gowrie's  natural  heir,  William  Euthven, 
his  brother,  was  a  poor  student  at  Cambridge.  Could 
Bothwell  refer  to  him,  who  was  no  Catholic  ?  Can 
he  have  handed  in  (in  1601)  an  earlier  list  of  1600, 
without  deleting  the  name  of  the  dead  Gowrie  ?  As 
to  Gowrie's  real  creed,  Bothwell  must  have  known 
the  truth,  through  Home,  a  reluctant  convert  to 
Presbyterianism,  who  went  from  Paris  to  Brussels  to 
meet  Bothwell,  leaving  Gowrie  in  Paris,  just  before 
Home  and  Gowrie  openly,  and,  as  it  was  said,  Both- 
well  secretly,  returned  to  Scotland  in  April  1600. 
Was  the  Gowrie  conspiracy  a  Bothwellian  plot  ? l 

We  know  little  more  about  Gowrie,  after  his 
letters  of  1595,  till,  on  August  18,  1599,  Colville 
reports  to  Cecil  that  the  party  of  the  Kirk  (who  were 
now  without  a  leader  among  the  greater  nobles) 
intend  to  summon  home  the  Earl.2  He  is  said  to  have 

1  Simancas,  iv.  pp.  653,  654,  677,  680,  715. 

2  Compare  note,  p.  110,  supra. 



stayed  for  three  months  at  Geneva  with  Beza,  the 
famous  reformer,  who  was  devoted  to  him.  He  was 
in  Paris,  in  February  and  March  1600.  The  English 
ambassador,  Neville,  recommended  Gowrie  to  Cecil, 
as  '  a  man  of  whom  there  may  be  exceeding  good  use 
made.'  Elizabeth  and  Cecil  were  then  on  the  worst 
terms  with  James.  At  Paris,  Gowrie  would  meet 
Lord  Home,  who,  as  we  have  said  and  shall  prove  in 
a  later  connection,  had  an  interview  with  the  exiled 
Bothwell,  still  wandering,  plotting  and  threatening 
descents  on  Scotland  (p.  206). 

On  April  3,  Gowrie  was  in  London.1  He  was  very 
well  received;  'a  cabinet  of  plate,'  it  is  said,  was 
oiven  to  him  by  Elizabeth ;  what  else  passed  we  do 
not  know.  In  Mav  Gowrie  returned  to  Scotland,  and 


rode  into  Edinburgh  among  a  cavalcade  of  his  friends. 
According  to  Sir  John  Carey,  writing  to  Cecil,  from 
Berwick,  on  May  29,  James  displayed  jealous}^  of 
Gowrie,  '  giving  him  many  jests  and  pretty  taunts,'  on 
his  reception  by  Elizabeth,  and  '  marvelling  that  the 
ministers  met  him  not.' 2  Calderwood  adds  a  rumour 
that  James,  talking  of  Gowrie's  entry  to  Edinburgh, 
said,  '  there  were  more  with  his  father  when  he  went 
to  the  scaffold.'  Again,  as  the  Earl  leaned  on  the 
King's  chair  at  breakfast,  James  talked  of  dogs  and 
hawks,  and  made  an  allusion  to  the  death  of  Eiccio, 
in  which  Gowrie's  father  and  grandfather  took  part. 
These  are  rumours ;  it  is  certain  that  the  King 

1   Winwood  Memorials,  pp.  1, 156.    Hudson  to  Cecil.    State  Papers, 
Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  19. 

3  Border  Calendar,  vol.  ii.  May  29,  1600.     Carey  to  Cecil. 


(June  20)  gave  Gowrie  a  year's  respite  from  pursuit 
of  his  creditors,  to  whom  he  was  in  debt  for  moneys 
owed  to  him  by  the  Crown,  expenditure  by  the  late 
Earl  of  Gowrie  when  in  power  (15 S3).1  It  is  also 
certain  that  Gowrie  opposed  the  King's  demands  for 
money,  in  a  convention  of  June  21. 2  But  so  did 
Lord  President  Fyvie,  who  never  ceased  to  be  James's 
trusted  minister,  and  later,  Chancellor,  under  the 
title  of  Earl  of  Dunfermline.  Calderwood  reports 
that,  after  Gowrie's  speech,  Sir  David  Murray  said, 
'  Yonder  is  an  unhappy  man ;  they  are  but  seeking 
occasion  of  his  death,  which  now  he  has  given.' 
This  is  absurd  :  Fyvie  and  the  Laird  of  Easter  Wemyss 
opposed  the  King  as  stoutly,  and  no  harm  followed 
to  them  ;  Fyvie  rising  steadily  (and  he  had  opposed 
the  King  yet  more  sturdily  before)  to  the  highest 
official  position. 

Calderwood  adds  a  silly  tale  of  Dr.  Herries. 
Beatrix  Euthven  laughed  at  his  lame  leg ;  he  looked 
in  her  palm,  and  predicted  a  great  disaster.  The  same 
anecdote,  with,  of  course,  another  subject,  is  told  of 
Gowrie's  own  prediction  that  a  certain  man  would  come 
to  be  hanged,  which  was  fulfilled.  Gowrie  had  been  at 
Perth,  before  the  convention  at  Holyrood  of  June  21. 
To  Perth  he  returned ;  thence,  some  time  in  July 
(about  the  20th),3  he  went  to  his  castle  of  Strabran, 

1  The  whole  proceedings  are  printed  in  Arnot's  Criminal  Trials. 

2  Nicholson  to  Cecil,  June  22,  June  29,  1600.     Tytler,  vol.  ix.  pp. 
325,  326,  1843. 

3  This  date  I  infer  from  Cranstoun's  statement.     On  August  5  he 
had  scarcely  seen  the  Ruthvens,  to  speak  to,  for  a  fortnight. 


in  Atholl,  to  hunt.  Whether  his  brother  the  Master 
remained  with  him  continuously  till  the  Earl's  return 
to  Perth  on  Saturday,  August  2,  I  know  not  how  to 
ascertain.  If  there  is  anything  genuine  in  the  plot- 
letters  produced  eight  years  later,  the  Master  once  or 
twice  visited  Edinburgh  in  July,  but  that  may  have 
been  before  going  to  Strabran. 

Concerning  the  Master,  a  romantic  story  of 
unknown  source,  but  certainly  never  alluded  to  in 
the  surviving  gossip  of  the  day,  was  published,  late 
in  the  eighteenth  century,  by  Lord  Hailes.  '  A  re- 
port is  handed  down  that  Lord  Gowrie's  brother 
received  from  the  Queen  a  ribbon  which  she  had 
got  from  the  King,  that  Mr.  Alexander  went  into 
the  King's  garden  at  Falkland  on  a  sultry  hot  day, 
and  lay  down  in  a  shade,  and  fell  asleep.  His 
breast  being  open,  the  King  passed  that  way  and 
discovered  part  of  the  ribbon  about  his  neck  below 
his  cravat,  upon  which  he  made  quick  haste  into 
the  palace,  which  was  observed  by  one  of  the 
Queen's  ladies  who  passed  the  same  way.  She  in- 
stantly took  the  ribbon  from  his  neck,  went  a  near 
way  to  the  Queen's  closet,  where  she  found  her 
Majesty  at  her  toilet,  whom  she  requested  to  lay 
the  ribbon  in  a  drawer.'  James  entered,  and  asked 
to  be  shown  the  ribbon.  The  Queen  produced  it, 
and  James  retired,  muttering,  'Devil  tak'  me,  but 
like  is  an  ill  mark.' 

Legend  does  not  say  when,  or  in  what  year  this 
occurred.     But  the  fancy  of  authors  has  identified 


the  Queen's  lady  with  Beatrix  Euthven,  and  has 
added  that  the  Master,  in  disgrace  (though  unde- 
tected), retired  with  Gowrie  to  Strabane,  or  Strabran. 
History  has  no  concern  with  such  fables.  It  is 
certain,  however,  or  at  least  contemporary  letters 
aver,  that  Queen  Anne  of  Denmark  was  grieved 
and  angered  by  the  slaying  of  the  Gowries.  On 
October  21,  1600,  Carey,  writing  to  Cecil  from 
Woodrington,  mentions  this,  and  the  tattle  to  the 
effect  that,  as  the  Queen  is  about  to  have  a  child 
(Charles  I.),  '  she  shall  be  kept  as  prisoner  ever 
after.'  Was  the  Master  supposed  to  be  father  of 
the  Queen's  child  ?  Carey  goes  on,  c  There  is  a  letter 
found  with  a  bracelet  in  it,  sent  from  the  Queen 
to  the  Earl  of  Gowrie,  to  persuade  him  to  leave  his 
country  life  and  come  to  Court,  assuring  him  that 
he  should  enjoy  any  contents  that  Court  could 
afford.' l  Can  some  amorous  promise  underlie  this, 
as  in  the  case  of  Mr.  Pickwick's  letter  to  Mrs. 
Bardell,  about  the  warming-pan  ?  '  This  letter  the 
King  hath,'  says  Carey.  Was  it  with  Gowrie,  not 
the  Master,  that  the  Queen  was  in  love  ?  She  was 
very  fond  of  Beatrix  Euthven,  and  would  disbelieve 
in  the  guilt  of  her  brothers ;  hence  these  tears  and 


that  anger  of  the  Queen. 

But  James  also,  says  Calderwood,  was  as  anxious 
as  Carey  declares  that  the  Queen  was,  to  bring 
Gowrie  to  Falkland.  '  When  the  Earl  was  in  Stra- 
bran, fifteen  days  before  the  fact,  the  King  wrote 

1  Border  Calendar,  vol.  ii.  p.  698,  Oct.  21,  1600.     Carey  to  Cecil. 


sundry  letters  to  the  Earl,  desiring  him  to  come  and 
hunt  with  him  in  the  wood  of  Falkland ;  which 
letters  were  found  in  my  Lord's  pocket,  at  his  death, 
as  is  reported,  but  were  destroyed.' 

So  James  was  not  jealous  ;  both  he  and  the  Queen 
were  inviting  Gowrie  to  their  country  house,  the 
Queen  adding  the  gift  of  a  bracelet.  She  may  have 
worked  it  herself,  like  the  bracelet  which  Queen 
Mary  is  said  to  have  sent  to  Bothwell. 

All  this  is  the  idlest  gossip.  But  it  is  certain 
that,  on  one  occasion,  at  the  end  of  July,  c  close 
letters '  were  sent  from  the  Court  at  Edinburgh  to 
Atholl  and  Gowrie  ;  and,  later,  to  Inchaffray  and 
the  Master,  the  first  three  are  in  Bothwell's  list  of 
Catholics  ready  to  meet  the  Spanish  invaders.  The 
fact  of  the  letters  appears  from  the  Treasurer's 
accounts,  where  the  money  paid  to  the  boy  who 
carried  the  letters  is  recorded,  without  dates  of  the 
days  of  the  month.  The  boy  got  33  shillings,  Scots, 
for  the  journey  from  Edinburgh  to  the  Earls  of 
Gowrie  and  Atholl ;  24  for  the  other  two,  which  he 
carried  from  Falkland.  Craigengelt,  in  his  deposition, 
'  denies  that  during  my  Lord's  being  in  Strabran, 
neither  yet  in  Perth,  after  his  coming  from  Strabran, 
he  knew  any  man  or  page  to  come  from  Court  to  my 
Lord,  or  that  he  commanded  to  give  them  any  meat 
or  drink.'  2 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  71. 

2  A  defender  of  Gowrie,  Mr.  Barbe,  has  the  following  '  observes ' 
upon  this  point.     It  has  been  asserted  by  Calderwood  that,  '  while  the 
Earl  was  in  Strathbraan,  fifteen  days  before  the  fact '  (say  July  20), 


No  conclusion  as  to  James's  guilt  can  be  drawn, 
either  from  the  fact  that  he  wrote  to  Atholl,  Inch- 
affray,  the  Master,  and  Gowrie  at  the  end  of  July, 
or  from  the  circumstance  that  Craigengelt  professed 
to  know  nothing  about  any  messenger.  James  might 
write  to  ask  the  Earl  to  hunt,  we  cannot  guess  what 
he  had  to  say,  at  the  same  time,  to  Atholl  or  Inch- 
affray  or  the  Master.  He  may  even  have  written 
about  the  affair  of  the  Abbey  of  Scone,  if  it  is  true 
that  the  Master  wished  to  ^et  it  from  his  brother. 


We  really  cannot  infer  that,  as  the  Euthvens  would 
not  come  and  be  killed,  when  invited,  at  Falkland, 
James  went  to  kill  them  at  Perth.  Even  if  he 
summoned  the  Master  for  August  o,  intending  to 
make  it  appear  that  the  Master  had  asked  him  to 
come  to  Perth,  the  Master  need  not  have  arrived 
before  seven  in  the  morning,  when  the  King  went 
and  hunted  for  four  hours.  What  conceivable 
reason  had  the  Master,  if  innocent,  for  leaving  Perth 

*  the  King  wrote  sundry  letters  to  the  Earl,  desiring  him  to  come  and 
hunt  with  him  in  the  wood  of  Falkland,  which  letters  were  found  in 
my  lord's  pocket,  as  is  reported,  but  were  destroyed.'  Mr.  Barbe  then 
proves  that  letters  were  sent  to  Gowrie  and  Atholl  in  the  last  days  of 
July.  It  is  certain  that  a  letter  was  sent  to  Gowrie  about  July  20, 
possibly  a  sporting  invitation,  not  that  there  was  any  harm  in  an 
invitation  to  join  a  hunting  party.  James  is  next  accused  of  'trying 
to  stifle  the  rumour '  about  this  { letter,'  by  a  direct  denial.  This 
means  that  Craigengelt,  Gowrie's  caterer,  was  asked  whether  he  knew 
of  any  man  or  boy  who  came  to  Gowrie  from  Court,  and  said  that  he 
did  not,  a  negative  reply  supposed  to  have  been  elicited  by  the  torture 
to  which  Craigengelt  was  certainly  subjected.  We  only  know  that  at 
the  end  of  July  letters  were  sent  to  Gowrie,  to  Inchafiray,  to  Atholl, 
and  to  Euthven.  Whether  his  reached  Gowrie  or  not,  and  what  it 
contained,  we  cannot  know. 


at  4  A.M.  and  visiting  his  sovereign  at  seven  in  the 
morning  ? 


As  to  the  coining  of  the  Gowries  to  Perth  from 
Strabran  or  Strabane  before  the  tragedy,  we  only 
know  what  Craigengelt  stated.  His  language  is  not 


c  Depones  that,  my  Lords  being  in  Strabrand, 
Alexander  Euthven '  (a  kinsman)  '  came  from  Dun- 
keld  to  my  Lord.  And  that  upon  Friday  (August  1) 
my  Lord  commanded  Captain  Euthven  to  ride, 
and  tell  my  Lady  '  (Gowrie's  mother),  '  that  he  was 
to  come,  and  Captain  Euthven  met  my  Lord  at 
the  ferry-boat,  and  rode  back  to  Dunkeld  with  my 
Lord,  where  he  '  (Gowrie)  '  having  supped,  returned 
to  his  bed  at  Trochene,  the  deponer  being  in  his 

Where,  at  the  end  of  July,  was  Lady  Gowrie  ? 
Was  she  within  a  day's  ride  of  her  sons  ?  Was  she 
at  Perth  ?  We  know  that  she  was  at  Dirleton.  Castle, 
near  North  Berwick,  on  August  6.  Had  she  left  the 
neighbourhood  of  Perth  between  the  1st  and  5th  of 


August  ?  Captain  Euthven  seems  to  have  ridden  to 
Lady  Gowrie,  and  back  again  to  Dunkeld  with 
Gowrie.  If  so  (and  I  can  make  no  other  sense  of 
it),  she  was  in  Perthshire  on  August  1,  and  went  at 
once  to  Dirleton.  Did  she  keep  out  of  the  way  of 
the  performances  of  August  5  ? 

It  is  curious  that  no  apologist  for  Gowrie,  as  far 
as  I  have  observed,  makes  any  remark  on  this  per- 
plexing affair  of  '  my  Lady.'  We  know  that  she  had 


once  already  set  a  successful  trap  for  the  King.  He 
had  not  punished  her  ;  he  took  two  of  her  daughters, 
Barbara  and  Beatrix,  into  his  household ;  and  re- 
stored to  Gowrie  his  inheritance  of  the  lands  of 
Scone,  which,  as  we  know,  had  been  held  by  his 
father.  He  had  written  a  loving  letter  to  Gowrie  at 
Padua,  after  the  young  man  had  for  many  months 
been  conspiring  against  him  with  his  most  dangerous 
enemy,  the  wild  Earl  of  Bothwell. 

On  the  morning  of  the  fatal  August  5,  Gowrie 
went  to  sermon.  What  else  he  did,  we  learn  from 
John  Moncrieff,  who  was  the  Earl's  cautioner,  or 
guarantee,  for  a  large  sum  due  by  him  to  one  Eobert 
Jolly.1  He  was  also  brother  of  Hew  Moncrieff,  who 
fled  after  having  been  with  Gowrie  in  arms,  against 
Herries,  Eamsay,  and  Erskine.  Both  Moncrieffs,  says 
John,  were  puzzled  when  they  found  that  the  Master 
had  ridden  from  Perth  so  early  in  the  morning. 
Gowrie,  says  Moncrieff,  did  not  attend  the  Town 
Council  meeting  after  church  ;  he  excused  himself 
on  account  of  private  affairs.  He  also  sent  away 
George  Hay  who  was  with  him  on  business  when 
Henderson  arrived  from  Falkland,  saying  that  he  had 
other  engagements.  For  the  same  reason,  he,  at  first, 
declined  to  do  a  piece  of  business  with  Moncrieff, 
who  dined  with  him  and  two  other  gentlemen.  c  He 
made  him  to  misknow  all  things,'  that  is  affected  to 
take  no  notice,  when  Andrew  Euthven  came  in,  and 
'rounded  to  him'  (whispered  to  him)  about  the 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  vi.  194. 


King's  approach.  Then  the  Master  entered,  and 
Gowrie  went  out  to  meet  the  King. 

The  rest  we  know,  as  far  as  evidence  exists. 

We  now  have  all  the  essential  facts  which  rest  on 
fairly  good  evidence,  and  we  ask,  did  the  Euthvens 
lay  a  plot  for  the  King,  or  did  the  King  weave  a  web 
to  catch  the  Euthvens  ?  Looking  first  at  character 
and  probable  motives,  we  dismiss  the  gossip  about 
the  amorous  Queen  and  the  jealous  King.  The 
tatlers  did  not  know  whether  to  select  Gowrie  or  the 
Master  as  the  object  of  the  Queen's  passion,  or 
whether  to  allege  that  she  had  a  polyandrous  affec- 
tion for  both  at  once.  The  letters  of  the  age  hint  at 
no  such  amour  till  after  the  tragedy,  when  tales  of 
the  liaison  of  Anne  of  Denmark  with  the  elder  or 
younger  Euthven,  or  both,  arose  as  a  myth  to 
account  for  the  events.  The  Queen,  no  doubt,  was 
deeply  grieved  in  a  womanly  way  for  the  sake  of  her 
two  maidens,  Beatrix  and  Barbara  Euthven.  Her 
Majesty,  also  in  a  womanly  way,  had  a  running  feud 
with  Mar  and  the  whole  house  of  Erskine.  To  Mar, 
certainly  one  of  the  few  men  of  honour  as  well  as  of 
rank  in  Scotland,  James  had  entrusted  his  son,  Prince 
Henry ;  the  care  of  the  heir  to  the  Crown  was  a  kind 
of  hereditary  charge  of  the  Erskines.  The  Queen 
had  already,  in  her  resentment  at  not  having  the 
custody  of  her  son,  engaged  in  one  dangerous  plot 
against  Mar  ;  she  made  another  quarrel  on  this  point 
at  the  time  (1603)  when  the.  King  succeeded  to  the 
crown  of  England.  Now  Mar  was  present  at  the 

u  ten 



Gowrie  tragedy,  and  his  cousin,  Sir  Thomas  Erskine, 
took  part  in  the  deeds.  Hating  the  Erskines,  devoted 
to  the  Euthven  ladies,  and  always  feebly  in  opposition 
to  her  husband,  the  Queen,  no  doubt,  paraded  her 
grief,  her  scepticism,  and  her  resentment.  This  was 
quite  in  keeping  with  her  character,  and  this  conduct 
lent  colour  to  the  myth  that  she  loved  Gowrie,  or  the 
Master,  or  both,  par  amours.  The  subject  is  good 
for  a  ballad  or  a  novel,  but  history  has  nothing  to 
make  with  the  legend  on  which  Mr.  G.  P.  E.  James 
based  a  romance,  and  Mr.  Pinkerton  a  theory. 

Leaving  fable  for  fact,  what  motives  had  James 
for  killing  both  the  Euthvens  ?  He  had  dropped  the 
hereditary  feud,  and  had  taken  no  measures  against 
the  young  Earl  to  punish  his  conspiracies  with  Both- 
well  in  1593-1594.  Of  Gowrie,  on  his  return  to 
Scotland  in  May,  he  may  have  entertained  some 
jealousy.  The  Earl  had  been  for  months  in  Paris, 
caressed  by  the  English  ambassador,  and  probably,  as 
we  have  seen,  in  touch  with  the  exiled  and  ceaselessly 
conspiring  Bothwell.  In  London  the  Earl  had  been 
well  received  by  Elizabeth,  and  by  Lord  Willoughby, 
who,  a  year  earlier,  as  Governor  of  Berwick,  had 
insulted  James  by  kidnapping,  close  to  Edinburgh, 
an  English  gentleman,  Ashfield,  on  a  visit  to  the 
King's  Court.  Guevara,  a  cousin  of  Lord  Willoughby, 
lured  Ashfield  into  the  coach  of  the  English  envoy 
Bowes,  and  drove  him  to  the  frontier.  Lord  Wil- 
loughby had  a  swift  yacht  lying  off  Leith,  in  case  it 
was  thought  better  to  abduct  Ashfield  by  sea.  This  is 


an  example  of  English  insolence  to  the  Scottish  King- 
also  of  English  kidnapping — and  Lord  Willoughby, 
the  manager,  had  made  friends  with  Go wrie  in  England. 

Thus  James,  who  was  then  on  the  worst 
terms,  short  of  open  war,  with  England,  may  have 
suspected  and  disliked  the  Earl,  who  had  once 
already  put  himself  at  the  service  of  Elizabeth,  and 
might  do  so  again.  In  the  April  of  1600,  rumours 
of  a  conspiracy  by  Archibald  Douglas,  the  infamous 
traitor  ;  Douglas  of  Spot,  one  of  Morton's  brood,  and 
John  Colville — who,  with  Bothwell  and,  later,  inde- 
pendently, had  caught  James,  had  tried  to  catch  him, 
and  proposed  to  Essex  to  catch  him  again, — were 
afloat.  Colville  was  in  Paris  at  the  same  time  as 
Gowrie ;  Bothwell  was  reported  to  have  come 
secretly  to  Scotland  in  April  or  May,  and  this  com- 
bination of  facts  or  rumours  may  have  aroused  the 
King's  mistrust.  Again,  the  Kirk  was  restive ;  the 
preachers,  in  need  of  a  leader,  were  said  by  Colville 
to  have  summoned  Gowrie  home.1  Moreover  there 
were  persons  about  James — for  example,  Colonel 
Stewart — who  had  reason  to  dread  the  Earl's  venge- 
ance for  his  father.  The  Euthven  Apologist  mentions 
this  fact,  and  the  predilection  of  the  Kirk  for  Gowrie, 
among  the  motives  for  destroying  him. 

Once  more  there  are  hints,  very  vague,  that,  in 
1593,  Bothwell  aimed  at  changing  the  dynasty.2  The 
fable  that  Gowrie  was  a  maternal  grandson  of 
Margaret  Tudor,  widow  of  James  IV,  by  Henry  Stewart, 

1  Cf.  p.  110,  note.  2  Border  Calendar,  i.  491. 


Lord  Methven,  her  third  husband,  and  that  Gowrie 
was  thus  a  candidate  for  the  succession  to  the  English 
throne,  perhaps  also  for  the  hand  of  Arabella  Stuart, 
may  conceivably  have  existed.  (Compare  Appendix 
A.)  Again,  Gowrie  had  sided  with  the  burgesses 
and  minor  barons,  as  against  the  nobles,  by  refusing 
a  grant  of  money  to  James,  in  the  convention  of  June 
1600,  and  James  owed  money  to  Gowrie,  as  he  did 
to  most  people.  But  we  have  already  seen  that  an 
exemption  had  been  granted  to  Gowrie  for  a  year 
from  pursuit  of  creditors,  as  far,  that  is,  as  regarded 
his  fathers  debts  (SO,OOOZ.  Scots),  (June  20,  1600). 
The  College  of  Justice  refused  to  grant  any  new  legal 
summonses  of  creditors  against  Gowrie,  and  sus- 
pended all  that  were  extant. 

Mr.  Barbe  accuses  the  King  of  '  utter  and  un- 
blushing disregard  for  common  truth  and  common 
honesty.'  Be  this  as  it  may,  the  exemption  granted 
to  Gowrie  was  not  regarded  by  his  father's  creditors 
as  extending  to  his  mother,  after  his  dishonoured 
death.  On  November  1,  1600,  Lady  Gowrie  im- 
plored Elphinstone,  the  Secretary,  to  bring  her  suit 
for  relief  before  the  King.  The  security  for  these 
debts  was  on  her  '  conjunct  fee  lands,'  and  creditors, 
because,  I  suppose,  the  Gowrie  estates  were  about 
to  be  forfeited,  pressed  Lady  Gowrie,  who,  of  course, 
had  no  exemption.  We  know  nothing  as  to  the 
success  of  Lady  Gowrie's  petition,  but  we  have 
seen  that  her  daughters  married  very  well.  I 
presume  that  Gowrie,  not  his  mother,  had  previously 


paid  interest  on  the  debts,  '  he  had  already  paid  many 
sums  of  money.'  James  had  already  restored  to 
Gowrie  the  valuable  lands  of  Scone.1 

However,  taking  things  as  the  King's  adversaries 
regard  them,  the  cumulative  effect  of  these  several 


grudges  (and  of  the  mystery  of  Gowrie's  Catho- 
licism) would  urge  James  to  lay  his  very  subtle 
plot.  He  would  secretly  call  young  Euthven  to 
Falkland  by  six  in  the  morning  of  August  5,  he 
would  make  it  appear  that  Euthven  had  invited  him 
to  Perth,  he  would  lure  the  youth  to  a  turret, 
managing  to  be  locked  in  with  him  and  an  armed 
man  ;  he  would  post  Eamsay  below  the  turret  window, 
and  warn  him  to  run  up  the  dark  staircase  at  the 
King's  cry  of  treason.  By  the  locked  door  he  would 
exclude  Lennox  and  Mar,  while  his  minions  would 
first  delay  Gowrie's  approach,  by  the  narrow  stairs, 
and  then  permit  him  to  enter  with  only  one  com- 
panion, Cranstoun.  He  would  cause  a  report  of  his 
own  departure  to  be  circulated,  exactly  at  the  right 
moment  to  bring  Gowrie  under  the  turret  window, 
and  within  reach  of  his  cries.  This  plot  requires 
the  minutest  punctuality,  everything  must  occur  at 
the  right  moment,  and  all  would  have  been  defeated 
had  Gowrie  told  the  truth  about  the  King's  departure, 
or  even  asked  '  Where  is  the  King's  horse  ? '  Or 
Gowrie  might  have  stood  in  the  streets  of  Perth,  and 
summoned  his  burgesses  in  arms.  The  King  and  the 
courtiers,  with  their  dead  man,  would  have  been 

1  Tragedy  of  Gowrie  House,  pp.  29,  31. 

THE  KING  AND  THE  RUTH  YENS       143 

beleaguered,  without  provisions,  in  Gowrie's  house. 
Was  James  the  man,  on  the  strength  of  the  grudges 
which  we  have  carefully  enumerated,  to  risk  himself, 
unarmed,  in  this  situation  ?  As  to  how  he  managed 
to  have  the  door  locked,  so  as  to  exclude  the  majo- 
rity of  his  suite,  who  can  conjecture  ?  How,  again, 
did  he  induce  Gowrie  to  aver,  and  that  after  making 
inquiry,  that  he  had  ridden  homewards  ? 

I  cannot  believe  that  any  sane  man  or  monarch, 
from  the  motives  specified,  would  or  could  have  laid, 
and  that  successfully,  the  plot  attributed  to  the  King. 

Turning;    to   Gowrie,  we   find   that   his    grudges 

o  7  o  o 

against  James  may  have  been  deep  and  many.  If 
revengeful,  he  had  the  treacherous  method  of  his 


father's  conviction,  and  the  insults  to  his  mother,  to 
punish.  For  a  boy  of  seventeen  he  had  already 
attempted  a  good  deal,  in  1593-1594.  His  mother 
had  set  him  an  example  of  King-catching,  and  it 
looks  as  if  his  mother  had  been  near  him  in  Perth, 
while  he  was  at  Strabane.  If  ambitious,  and  devoted 
to  Elizabeth  and  England  (as  he  had  been),  Gowrie 
had  motives  for  a  new  Eaid  of  Euthven,  the  unceas- 
ing desire  of  the  English  Government.  He  might,  if 
successful,  head  a  new  administration  resting  on  the 
support  of  England  and  the  Kirk.  Such  a  change 
was  due  in  the  natural  course  of  things.  Or,  quite 
the  reverse,  if  a  secret  Catholic  he  might  hand  the 
Kino;  over  to  Bothwell. 


Thus  Gowrie  may  well  have  wished  to  revenge 
his  father ;  his  mother  had  once  already  helped  to 


betray  James  to  an  attack  of  the  most  insulting 
nature  ;  lie  himself  was  strong  for  the  Kirk,  over 
which  James  was  playing  the  despot ;  6>r,  he  desired 
toleration  for  Catholics  ;  he  had  been  well  received 
in  England,  where  all  such  plots- -their  name 
was  legion — had  always  been  fostered ;  he  was 
very  young,  and  he  risked  everything.  Only  his 
method  was  new — that  of  strict  secrecy.  He  had 


previously  spoken  to  Mr.  Cowper,  minister  'of  Perth, 
in  a  general  way,  about  the  failure  of  plots  for  lack 
of  deep  secrecy,  and  through  the  admission  of  too 
many  confederates.  Cowper  told  this  to  Spottis- 
woode,  at  Falkland.  Mr.  Ehynd,  Gowrie's  tutor, 
told  Cowper  and  the  Comptroller,  '  unrequired '  (not 
under  torture,  nor  in  answer  to  a  question  under  ex- 
amination), that  Gowrie,  when  abroad,  several  times 
said  that  '  he  was  not  a  wise  man  that,  having  the 
execution  of  a  high  and  dangerous  purpose,  com- 
municated the  same  to  any  but  himself.' 

As  to  this  secrecy,  we  must  remember  that 
Gowrie  was  very  young ;  that  in  Italy  he  may  have 
heard  or  read  of  romantic  and  crafty  plots  ;  and  may 
long  have  dreamed  (as  Eobert  Oliphant's  reported 
allegation  declared)  of  some  such  scheme  as  that  in 
which  he  failed.  We  must  remember,  too,  that 
James's  own  account  at  least  suggests  a  plan  quite 
feasible.  To  bring  James  to  Gowrie  House,  early  in 
the  day,  when  the  townsmen  were  at  kirk,  to  bring 
him  with  only  three  or  four  attendants,  then  to  iso- 
late him  and  carry  him  off,  was  far  from  impossible  ; 


they  might  hurry  him,  disguised,  to  Dirleton,  a  castle 
garrisoned  and  provisioned,  according  to  Carey,  who 
reports  the  version  of  Gowrie's  friends.  A  Scottish 
judge,  Gibson  (the  ancestor  of  Sir  Thomas  Gibson- 
Carmichael),  was  later  carried  from  Leith  Sands 
across  the  Border,  with  perfect  success.  A  fault  of 
the  plan  was  that,  once  undertaken,  it  could  not  be 
dropped,  even  though  James  came  late  and  well 
attended.  Euthven  could  not  tell  the  King  that  his 
story  about  a  captive  and  a  pot  of  gold  was  false.  To 
do  that  would  have  subjected  him  to  a  charge  of 
treason.  He  could  have  only  one  motive  for  thus 
deceiving  his  Majesty.  Thus  the  plot  had  to  go  on, 
even  under  circumstances  very  unfavourable.  There 
was  no  place  for  repentance. 

Thus  considered,  the  conspiracy  looks  like  the 
plot  of  a  romance,  not  without  meritorious  points,  but 
painfully  amateurish. 

As  proof  of  Gowrie's  guilt,  the  evidence,  I  think, 
distinctly  proves  that  he  intentionally  concealed  from 
those  about  him  the  ride  of  his  brother,  Henderson, 
and  Andrew  Euthven  to  Perth  ;  that  he  concealed  his 
knowledge,  derived  from  Henderson,  of  the  King's 
approach  ;  and  that  Euthven  concealed  from  Craigen- 
gelt,  on  his  return,  his  long  ride  to  Falkland,  saying 
that  he  had  been  on  '  an  errand  not  far  off.'  MoncriefF 
swore  that  Henderson  crave  him  a  similar  answer. 


Asked  by  Moncrieff  where  he  had  been,  he  said  '  he 
had  been  two  or  three  miles  above  the  town.'  Hender- 
son corroborated  Moncrieff' s  evidence  on  this  point. 



There  can  have  been  no  innocent  motive  for  all  this 
secrecy.  It  would  have  been  natural  for  Gowrie  to 
order  luncheon  for  the  King  to  be  prepared,  as  soon 
as  Henderson  arrived. 

Finally,  the  Earl's  assertions  that  James  had  ridden 
away,  assertions  repeated  after  he  had  gone  upstairs 
to  inquire  and  make  sure,  are  absolutely  incompatible 
with  innocence.  They  could  have  only  one  motive, 
to  induce  the  courtiers  to  ride  off  and  leave  the  King 
in  his  hands. 

What  was  to  happen  next  ?  Who  can  guess  at 
the  plot  of  such  a  plotter  ?  It  is  perhaps  least  impro- 
bable that  the  King  was  to  be  conveyed  secretly, 
by  sea  or  across  Fife,  to  Dirleton  in  the  first  place. 
Gowrie  may  have  had  an  understanding  with  Guevara 
at  Berwick.  James  himself  told  Nicholson  that  a 
large  English  ship  had  hovered  off  the  coast,  refusing 
communication  with  the  shore.  Bothwell,  again,  now 
desperate,  may  have  lately  been  nearer  home  than 
was  known  ;  finally,  Fastcastle,  the  isolated  eyrie  on 
its  perpendicular  rock  above  the  Northern  Sea,  may 
have  been  at  Gowrie's  disposal.  I  am  disinclined  to 
conjecture,  being  only  certain  that  a  young  man  with 
Gowrie's  past — '  Italianate,'  and  of  dubious  religion 
-was  more  apt  to  form  a  wild  and  daring  plot 
than  was  his  canny  senior,  the  King  of  Scots.  But 
that  a  plot  of  some  kind  Gowrie  had  laid,  I  am  con- 
vinced by  his  secrecy,  and  by  his  falsehoods  as  to  the 
King's  departure.  Among  the  traps  for  the  King 
contrived  by  Bothwell  and  Colville,  and  reported  by 


Colville  to  his  English  paymasters,  were  schemes  quite 
as  wild  as  that  which  Gowrie  probably  entertained. 
The  King  once  in  the  pious  hands  of  so  godly  a  man 
as  Gowrie,  the  party  of  the  Kirk,  or  the  party  of  the 
Church,  would  have  come  in  and  made  themselves 

1  As  to  Bothwell's  whereabouts,  in  1600,  he  left  Brussels  in  March, 
nominally  to  go  to  Spain,  but,  in  June,  the  agent  of  the  English 
Government  in  the  Low  Countries  was  still  anxious  to  hear  that  he 
had  arrived  in  Spain.  When  he  actually  arrived  there  is  uncertain. 
Compare  Simancas,  iv.  p.  667,  with  State  Papers,  Domestic  (Elizabeth) 
(1598-1600),  p.  245,  No.  88,  p.  413  (March  24,  April  3,  1600),  p.  434, 
May  30,  June  9,  p.  509.  Cecil  meant  to  intrigue  with  Bothwell, 
through  Henry  Locke,  his  old  agent  with  Bothwell's  party,  Atholl, 
and  Gowrie  October  1593).  Compare  infra,  p.  160. 

L  2 



WE  now  arrive  at  an  extraordinary  sequel  of  the 
Gowrie  mystery :  a  sequel  in  which  some  critics 
have  seen  final  and  documentary  proof  of  the  guilt 
of  the  Euthvens.  Others  have  remarked  only  a 
squalid  intrigue,  whereby  James's  ministers  threw 
additional  disgrace  on  their  master.  That  they  suc- 
ceeded in  disgracing  themselves,  we  shall  make  only 
too  apparent,  but  if  the  evidence  which  they  handled 
proves  nothing  against  the  Euthvens,  it  does  not  on 
that  account  invalidate  the  inferences  which  we  have 
drawn  as  to  their  conspiracy.  We  come  to  the  story 
of  the  Laird  and  the  country  writer. 

That  we  may  know  the  Laird  better,  a  brief 
description  of  his  home  may  be  introduced.  Within 
a  mile  and  a  half  of  the  east  end  of  Princes  Street, 
Edinburgh,  lies,  on  the  left  of  the  railway  to  the  south, 
a  squalid  stfburb.  You  drive  or  walk  on  a  dirty 
road,  north-eastwards,  through  unambitious  shops, 
factories,  tall  chimneys,  flaming  advertisements,  and 
houses  for  artisans.  The  road  climbs  a  hill,  and  you 
begin  to  find,  on  each  side  of  you,  walls  of  ancient 
construction,  and  traces  of  great  old  doorways,  now 


condemned.  On  the  left  are  ploughed  fields,  and 
even  clumps  of  trees  with  blackened  trunks.  Grimy 
are  the  stacks  of  corn  in  the  farmyard  to  the  left, 
at  the  crest  of  the  hill.  On  the  right,  a  gateway 
gives  on  a  short  avenue  which  leads  to  a  substantial 
modern  house.  Having  reached  this  point  in  my 
pilgrimage,  I  met  a  gentleman  who  occupies  the 
house,  and  asked  if  I  might  be  permitted  to  view 
the  site.  The  other,  with  much  courtesy,  took  me 
up  to  the  house,  of  which  only  the  portion  in  view 
from  the  road  was  modern.  Facing  the  west  all 
was  of  the  old  Scottish  chateau  style,  with  gables, 
narrow  windows,  and  a  strange  bulky  chimney  on 
the  north,  bulging  out  of  the  wall.  The  west  side  of 
the  house  stood  on  the  very  brink  of  a  steep  preci- 
pice, beneath  which  lay  what  is  now  but  a  large 
deep  waterhole,  but,  at  the  period  of  the  Gowrie 
conspiracy,  was  a  loch  fringed  with  water  weeds,  and 
a  haunt  of  wild  fowl.  By  this  loch,  Eestalrig  Loch, 
the  witch  more  than  three  centuries  ago  met  the 
ghost  of  Tarn  Eeid,  who  fell  in  Pinkie  fight,  and  by 
the  ghost  was  initiated  into  the  magic  which  brought 
her  to  the  stake. 

I  scrambled  over  a  low  wall  with  a  deep  drop, 
and  descended  the  cliff  so  as  to  get  a  view  of  the 
ancient  chateau  that  faces  the  setting  sun.  Beyond 
the  loch  was  a  muddy  field,  then  rows  on  rows  of 
ugly  advertisements,  then  lines  of  'smoky  dwarf 
houses,'  and,  above  these,  clear  against  a  sky  of 
March  was  the  leonine  profile  of  Arthur's  Seat. 


Steam  rose  and  trailed  from  the  shrieking  south- 
ward trains  between  the  loch  and  the  mountain,  old 
and  new  were  oddly  met,  for  the  chateau  was  the 
home  of  an  ancient  race,  the  Logans  of  Eestalrig, 
ancestors  of  that  last  Laird  with  whom  our  story  has 
to  do.  Their  rich  lands  stretched  far  and  wide ; 
their  huge  dovecot  stands,  sturdy  as  a  little  pyramid, 
in  a  field  to  the  north,  towards  the  firth.  They  had 
privileges  over  Leith  Harbour  which  must  have  been 
very  valuable  :  they  were  of  Eoyal  descent,  through 
a  marriage  of  a  Logan  with  a  daughter  of  Eobert  II. 
But  their  glory  was  in  their  ancestor,  Sir  Eobert 
Logan,  who  fell  where  the  good  Lord  James  of 
Douglas  died,  charging  the  Saracens  on  a  field  of 
Spain,  and  following  the  heart  of  Bruce.  So  Barbour 
sings,  and  to  be  named  by  Barbour,  for  a  deed  and  a 
death  so  chivalrous,  is  honour  enough. 

The  Logans  flourished  in  their  eyrie  above  the 
Loch  of  Eestalrig,  and  intermarried  with  the  best 
houses,  Sinclairs,  Ogilvys,  Homes,  and  Eamsays  of 
Dalhousie.  It  may  be  that  some  of  them  sleep 
under  the  muddy  floor  of  St.  Triduana's  Chapel,  in 
the  village  of  Eestalrig,  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  on 
the  eastern  side  of  their  old  chateau.  This  village, 
surrounded  by  factories,  is  apparently  just  what  it 
used  to  be  in  the  days  of  James  VI.  The  low  thick- 
walled  houses  with  fore-stairs,  retain  their  ancient, 
high-pitched,  red-tiled  roofs,  with  dormer  windows, 
and  turn  their  tall  narrow  gables  to  the  irregular  street. 
'  A  mile  frae  Embro  town,'  you  find  yourself  going 

Photo :   W.  J.  Hay,  Edinburgh 

p.  150. 


Photo:   W.  J.  Hay,  Edinburgh 

p.  150. 



back  three  hundred  years  in  time.  On  the  right  hand 
of  the  road,  walking  eastward,  what  looks  like  a  huge 
o-reen  mound  is  visible  above  a  hio-h  ancient  wall.  This 

O  CJ 

is  all  that  is  left  of  St.  Triduana's  Chapel,  and  she 
was  a  saint  who  came  from  Achaia  with  St.  Eegulus, 
the  mythical  founder  of  St.  Andrews.  She  died  at 
Eestalrig  on  October  8,  510,  and  may  have  converted 
the  Celts,  who  then  dwelt  in  a  crannog  in  the  loch  ;  at 
all  events  we  hear  that,  in  a  very  dry  summer,  the 
timbers  of  a  crannog  were  found  in  the  sandy  deposit 
of  the  lake  margin.  The  chapel  (or  chapter-house  ?), 
very  dirty  and  disgracefully  neglected,  has  probably  a 
crypt  under  it,  and  certainly  possesses  a  beautiful 
groined  roof,  springing  from  a  single  short  pillar  in 
the  centre.  The  windows  are  blocked  up  with  stones, 
the  exterior  is  a  mere  mound  of  grass  like  a  sepulchral 
tumulus.  On  the  floor  lies,  broken,  the  gravestone 
of  a  Lady  Eestalrig  who  died  in  1526.  Outside  is  a 
patched-up  church ;  the  General  Assembly  of  1560 
decreed  that  the  church  should  be  destroyed  as  '  a 
monument  of  idolatry '  (it  was  a  collegiate  church, 
with  a  dean,  and  prebendaries),  and  in  1571  the 
wrought  stones  were  used  to  build  a  new  gate  inside 
the  Netherbow  Port.  The  whole  edifice  was  not 
destroyed,  but  was  patched  up,  in  1836,  into  a 
Presbyterian  place  of  worship.  This  old  village  and 
kirk  made  up  '  Eestalrig  Town,'  a  place  occupied 
by  the  English  during  the  siege  of  Leith  in  1560. 
So  much  of  history  may  be  found  in  this  odd 
corner,  where  the  sexton  of  the  kirk  speaks  to  the 


visitor  about  '  the  Great  Logan,'  meaning  that  Laird 

Cj  O 

who  now  comes  into  the  sequel  of  the  Gowrie 

For  some  thirty  years  before  the  date  of  which 
we  are  speaking,  a  Eobert  Logan  had  been  laird 
of  Eestalrig,  and  of  the  estate  of  Flemington,  in 
Berwickshire,  where  his  residence  was  the  house  of 
Gunnisgreen,  near  Eyemouth,  on  the  Berwickshire 
coast.  He  must  have  been  a  young  boy  when,  in 
1560,  the  English  forces  besieging  Leith  (then  held 
by  the  French  for  Mary  of  Guise)  pitched  their 
camp  at  Eestalrig. 

In  1573,  Kirkcaldy  of  Grange  and  Maitland  of 
Lethington  gallantly  held  the  last  strength  of  the 
captive  Mary  Stuart,  the  Castle  of  Edinburgh. 
The  fortress  was  to  fall  under  the  guns  of  the 
English  allies  of  that  Earl  of  Gowrie  (then  Lord 
Euthven),  who  was  the  father  of  the  Gowrie  of  our 

On  April  17,  1573,  a  compact  was  made  between 
Lord  Euthven  and  Drury,  the  English  general. 
One  provision  was  (the  rest  do  not  here  concern  us) 
that  Alexander,  Lord  Home  ;  Lethington  ;  and  Eobert 
Logan  of  Eestalrig,  if  captured,  c  shall  be  reserved  to 
be  justified  by  the  laws  of  Scotland,'  which  means, 
hanged  by  the  neck.  But  neither  on  that  nor  on  any 
other  occasion  was  our  Logan  hanged.1  He  some- 
how escaped  death  and  forfeiture,  when  Kirkcaldy 
was  gibbeted  after  the  fall  of  the  castle.  In  1577, 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  ii.  217,  218. 


we  find  him,  with  Lord  Lindsay  and  Mowbray  of 
Barnbogle  (now  Dalmeny)  surety  for  Queen  Mary's 
half-brother,  the  Lord  Eobert  Stewart,  who  vainly 
warned  Darnley  to  escape  from  Kirk  o'  Field.  Lord 
Eobert  was  then  confined  by  the  Eegent  Morton  in 
Linlithgow,  and  Logan  with  the  rest  was  surety  in 
10,OOOZ.  that -he  would  not  attempt  to  escape.  Later, 
Logan  was  again  surety  that  Lord  Eobert  would 
return  after  visiting  his  dominions,  the  Orkney 

Logan,  though  something  of  a  pirate,  was  clearly 
a  man  of  substance  and  of  a  good  house,  which 
he  strengthened  by  alliances.  One  of  his  wives, 
Elizabeth  Macgill,  was  the  daughter  of  the  Laird  of 
Cranstoun  Eiddell,  and  one  of  her  family  was  a 
member  of  the  Privy  Council.  From  Elizabeth 
Logan  was  divorced ;  she  was,  apparently,  the  mother 
of  his  eldest  son,  Eobert.  By  the  marriage  of  an 
ancestor  of  Logan's  with  an  heiress  of  the  family  of 
Hume,  he  acquired  the  fortress  and  lands  of  Fast- 
castle,  near  St.  Abbs,  on  the  Berwickshire  coast. 
The  castle,  now  in  ruins,  is  the  model  of  Wolfscrag 
in  '  The  Bride  of  Lammermoor.'  Standing  on  the 
actual  verge  of  a  perpendicular  cliff  above  the  sea, 
whence  it  is  said  to  have  been  approached  by  a  stair- 
case cut  in  the  living  rock,  it  was  all  but  inaccessible, 
and  was  strongly  fortified.  Though  commanded  by 
the  still  higher  cliff  to  the  south,  under  which  it 
nestled  on  its  narrow  plateau  of  rock,  Fastcastle  was 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  ii.  622,  699. 


then  practically  impregnable,  and  twenty  men  could 
have  held  it  against  all  Scotland.  Around  it  was, 
and  is,  a  roadless  waste  of  bent  and  dune,  from 
which  it  was  severed  by  a  narrow  rib  of  rock  jutting 
seawards,  the  ridge  being  cut  by  a  cavity  which  was 
spanned  by  a  drawbridge.  Master  of  this  inaccessible 
eyrie,  Logan  was  most  serviceable  to  the  plotters  of 
these  troubled  times. 

His  religion  was  doubtful,  his  phraseology  could 
glide  into  Presbyterian  cant,  but  we  know  that  he 
indifferently  lent  the  shelter  of  his  fastness  to  the 
Protestant  firebrand,  wild  Frank  Stewart,  Earl  of 
Bothwell  (who,  like  Carey  writing  from  Berwick  to 
Cecil,  reckons  Logan  among  Catholics),  or  to  George 
Ker,  the  Catholic  intriguer  with  Spain.  Logan  loved  a 
plot  for  its  own  sake,  as  well  as  for  chances  of  booty 
and  promotion.  He  was  a  hard  drinker,  and  associate 
of  rough  yeomen  and  lairds  like  Ninian  Chirnside  of 
Whitsumlaws  (Bothwell's  emissary  to  the  wizard, 
Ei chard  Graham),  yet  a  man  of  ancient  family  and 
high  connections.  He  seems  to  have  been  intimate 
with  the  family  of  Sir  John  Cranstoun  of  Cranstoun. 
On  one  occasion  he  informs  Archibald  Douglas,  the 
detested  and  infamous  murderer  and  deeply  dyed 
traitor,  that  'John  of  Cranstoun  is  the  one  man 
now  that  bears  you  best  good  will.'  (January 

In  January  1600,  the  year  of  the  Gowrie  plot,  we 
find  Sir  John  Cranstoun  in  trouble  for  harbouring 
an  outlawed  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun,  who  was,  with 


Douglas,  the  Laird  of  Spot,  one  of  Bothwell's  allies 
in  all  his  most  desperate  raids  on  the  person  of  King 
James.  In  1592,  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun  was  for- 
feited, he  was  informed  against  for  '  new  conspiracies 
against  his  Majesty's  life  and  estate,'  and,  in  January 
1600,  Sir  John  Cranstoun  was  sheltering  this  dan- 
gerous and  desperate  Bothwellian  outlaw,  as  was  his 
son-in  law,  Mr.  William  Cranstoun.1 

Now  the  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun  who  was  hanged 
for  his  part  in  the  Gowrie  affair,  was  brother  of  Sir 
John  Cranstoun  of  Cranstoun,  the  ally  of  that  other 
Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun  who  was  so  deep  in  Bothwell's 
wild  raids  on  the  King's  person.  In  the  spring  of 
1600  (as  we  have  said,  but  must  here  repeat) 
there  were  reports  that  Bothwell  had  secretly 
returned  to  Scotland,  and,  on  April  20,  1600,  just 
before  the  date  of  Gowrie's  arrival  in  Edinburgh 
from  London,  Nicholson  reports  suspected  plots  of 
Archibald  Douglas,  of  John  Colville,  a  ruined  Both- 
wellian, and  a  spy,  and  of  the  Laird  of  Spot.2  This 
Colville  had  recently  hinted  to  Essex  that  he  could 
do  a  serviceable  enterprise.  'As  for  the  service  I 
mean  to  do,  if  matters  go  to  the  worst,  it  shall  be 
such,  God  willing — if  I  lose  not  my  life  in  doing 
thereof — as  no  other  can  do  with  a  million  of  gold, 
and  yet  I  shall  not  exceed  the  bonds  of  humanity,' 
that  is,  he  will  not  murder  the  King.  '  But  for  con- 
science sake  and  worldly  honesty,  I  must  first  be 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  vi.  73,  74. 

a  State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  13,  No.  21. 


absolved  of  my  natural  allegiance.'    (April  27,  1598  ; 
again,  October  20,  1598. ): 

The  point  for  us  to  mark  is  that  all  these  con- 
spirators and  violent  men,  Bothwell  (in  exile  or 
secretly  in  Scotland),  Colville  (in  1600  an  exile  in 
Paris),  the  Laird  of  Spot,  the  Cranstouns,  the  in- 
famous Archibald  Douglas,  with  Eichard  Douglas 
his  nephew,  and  Logan  of  Eestalrig,  were  united, 
if  not  by  real  friendship,  at  least,  as  Thucydides 
says,  by  '  partnership  in  desperate  enterprises  '  and  by 
1600  were  active  in  a  subterranean  way.  If  it  is  fair 
to  say,  nosdtur  a  sociis,  '  a  man  is  known  by  the 
company  he  keeps,'  Logan  of  Eestalrig  bears  the 
mark  of  the  secret  conspirator.  He  had  relations 
with  persons  more  distinguished  than  his  Chirnsides 
and  Whittingham  Douglases,  though  they  were  of 
near  kin  to  the  Earl  of  Morton.  His  mother,  a 
daughter  of  Lord  Gray,  married  Lord  Home,  after 
the  death  of  Logan's  father.  The  Laird  of  Eestalrig 
was  thus  a  half-brother  of  the  new  Lord  Home,  a 
Warden  of  the  Border,  and  also  was  first  cousin  of 
the  beautiful,  accomplished,  and  infamous  Master  of 
Gray,  the  double  spy  of  England  and  of  Eome. 

Logan,  too,  like  the  Master,  had  diplomatic  ambi- 
tions. In  1586  (July  29)  we  find  him  corresponding 
with  the  infamous  Archibald  Douglas,  one  of  Darn- 
ley's  murderers,  whom  James  had  sent,  in  the  crisis 
of  his  mother's  fate,  as  his  ambassador  to  Elizabeth. 
In  1586,  Logan,  with  two  other  Logans,  was  on  the 

1  Hatfield  Calendar,  viii.  147,  399. 


packed  jury  which  acquitted  Douglas  of  Darnley's 
murder.  Logan  was  a  retainer  of  Bothwell,  that 
meteor-like  adventurer  and  king-catcher,  and  he 
asks  Douglas  to  try  to  procure  him  employment 
(of  course  as  a  spy)  from  Walsingham,  the  English 

In  October  of  the  same  year,  we  find  the  Master 
of  Gray  writing  to  Douglas,  thus :  '  Of  late  I  was 
forced,  at  Eestalrig's  suit,  to  pawn  some  of  my  plate, 
and  the  best  jewel  I  had,  to  get  him  money  for  his 
marriage  ' — his  second  marriage,  apparently.  By 
December  1586  we  find  Logan  riding  to  London,  as 
part  of  the  suite  of  the  Master  of  Gray,  who  was  to 
plead  with  Elizabeth  for  Mary's  life.  He  was  the 
Master's  most  intimate  confidant,  and,  as  such,  in 
February-March  1587,  proposed  to  sell  all  his 
secrets  to  Walsingham  !  Nevertheless,  when  Gray 
was  driven  into  exile,  later  in  1587,  Logan  was  one 
of  his  '  cautioners,'  or  sureties.  He  had  been  of  the 
party  of  Gowrie's  father,  during  that  nobleman's 
brief  tenure  of  power  in  1582,  1583,  and,  when 
Gowrie  fell,  Logan  was  ordered  to  hand  his  eyrie  of 
Fastcastle  over,  at  six  hours'  notice,  to  the  officers  of 
the  King.  Through  the  stormy  years  of  Bothwell's 
repeated  raids  on  James  (1592-1594)  Logan  had 
been  his  partisan,  and  had  been  denounced  a  rebel. 
Later  he  appears  in  trouble  for  highway  robbery 
committed  by  his  retainers.  Among  the  diversions  of 

1  For  these  letters  of  Logan's,  see  Hatfield  Calendar^  vols.  iii.  iv. 
under  '  Kestalrig,'  in  the  Index. 


this  country  gentleman  was  flat  burglary.  In  Decem- 
ber 1593,  '  when  nichts  are  lang  and  mirk,'  the 
Laird  helped  himself  to  the  plate-chest  of  William 
Nesbit  of  Newton.  c  Under  silence  of  night  he  took 
spuilzie  of  certain  gold  and  silver  to  the  value  of 
three  thousand  merks  Scots.'  The  executors  of 
Nesbit  did  not  brino-  their  action  till  after  Logan 

o  o 

died,  in  July  1606,  'in  respect  the  said  clandestine 
deed  and  fact  came  not  to  our  knowledge,  nor  light 
as  to  who  had  committed  the  same,'  till  just  before 
the  action  was  brought. 

In  1599,  when  conspiracies  were  in  the  air, 
Logan  was  bound  over  not  to  put  Fastcastle  in  the 
hands  of  his  Majesty's  enemies  and  rebels.1 

This  brief  sketch  of  a  turbulent  life  is  derived 
from  Logan's  own  letters  to  Archibald  Douglas ,  now 

o  o 

among  the  Cecil  Papers  at  Hatfield  ;  from  the  4  Papers 
relating  to  the  Master  of  Gray,'  in  which  we  find 
Logan,  under  a  cypher  name,  betraying  the  Master, 
his  cousin  and  ally,  and  from  the  Register  of  the 
Privy  Council  of  Scotland,  in  which  all  that  dead 
world,  from  the  King  to  the  crofter,  may  be  traced, 
often  in  circumstances  peculiarly  private. 

At  that  time,  civil  processes  of  '  horning,' '  putting 
to  the  horn,'  or  outlawry,  were  the  common  resort  of 
creditors  against  procrastinating  debtors.  Many  of 
the  most  respectable  persons,  gentlemen  and  ladies, 
appear  in  these  suits ;  Eobert  Abercromby  sues  a 
lady  of  rank  for  150/.  Scots.  He  is  the  burgess  of 

1  Privy  Council  Register,  vol.  v.,  s.  v.  *  Logan  '  in  the  Index. 


Edinburgh,  the  King's  saddler,  who,  as  the  Master 
of  Euthven  told  Craigengelt,  had  brought  the  King 
from  Falkland  to  Perth,  '  to  take  order  for  his  debt.' 
JSFow  the  singular  thing  is  that  we  never  find 
Logan  of  Eestalrig  recorded  as  under  '  horning '  for 
debt,  whereas,  considering  his  character,  we  might 
expect  him  never  to  be  free  from  '  the  horn.'  On 
the  other  hand,  we  know  him  to  have  been  a  lender, 
not  a  borrower.  He  was  suiprofusus.  On  January  1, 
1599,  Cecil  had  been  making  inquiries  as  to  Logan, 
from  Lord  Willoughby  commanding  at  Berwick. 
Cecil  always  had  his  eyes  on  Border  Scots,  likely  to 
be  useful  in  troubling  King  James.  Willoughby 
replies,  '  There  is  sutch  a  laird  of  Lesterigge  as  you 
write  of,  a  vain  lose  man,  a  greate  favourer  of 
thefes  reputed,  yet  a  man  of  a  good  clan,  as  they 
here  tearme  it,  and  a  gud  felow.' 1 

Such  was  Logan  of  Eestalrig,  '  Old  Eugged  and 
Dangerous.'  In  1601,  May  30,  we  find  him  appearing 
as  surety  for  Philip  Mowbray,  one  of  the  Mowbrays 
of  Barnbogle,  whose  sister  stood  by  Queen  Mary 
at  the  scaffold,  and  whose  brother  Francis  was  with 
the  bold  Buccleuch,  when  he  swam  '  that  wan  water ' 
of  Esk,  and  rescued  Kinmont  Willie  from  Carlisle 
Castle.  This  Francis  Mowbray  and  his  brother 
Philip  were  (1601-1603)  mixed  up  with  Cecil  in 
some  inscrutable  spy-work,  and  intrigues  for  the 
murder  of  King  James.  The  Mowbrays  were  old 

1  Border   Calendar,   vol.   ii.     Willoughby   to    Cecil,    January    1, 


friends  of  Logan :  they  had  been  engaged  in  priva- 
teering enterprises  together,  but  could  produce  no 
letters  of  marque !  In  1603,  Francis  Mowbray, 
abandoned  and  extradited  by  Cecil,  was  killed  in 
an  attempt  to  escape  from  Edinburgh  Castle.  He 
had  been  accused,  by  an  Italian  fencing-master,  of 
a  conspiracy  to  kill  James.  Cecil  had,  of  course, 
by  this  time  made  peace  and  alliance  with  James, 
who  was  on  the  point  of  ascending  the  English 
throne,  and  he  gave  up  Francis.  Mowbray  chal- 
lenged the  Italian  fencing-master  to  judicial  combat ; 
the  Italian  came  down  to  fight  him,  the  lists  were 
actually  pitched  at  Holyrood,  when  (January  31, 
1603)  Francis  preferred  to  try  the  chance  of  flight; 
the  rope  of  knotted  sheet  to  which  he  trusted 
broke,  and  he  was  dashed  to  pieces  on  the  Castle 

Since  1592,  Mowbray  had  been  corresponding 
with  Logan's  friend,  Archibald  Douglas,  and  offering 
his  services  to  Cecil.  To  Cecil,  in  September  1600, 
he  was  again  applying,  regarding  Elizabeth  as  his 
debtor.  In  1600,  he  was  in  touch  with  Henry  Locke, 
who  had  been  Cecil's  go-between  in  his  darkest 
intrigues  against  James,  and  his  agent  with  Both- 

o  o  o 

well,  Atholl,  and  the  Gowrie  slain  on  August  5, 
1600.  But,  in  the  autumn  of  1602,  Cecil  had  be- 
come the  secret  ally  of  James,  and  gave  up  poor 
Francis,  a  broken  tool  of  his  and  of  Elizabeth's.2 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  405-407. 

2  See  Thorpe's  Calendar,  vol.  ii.,  s.  v.  '  Mowbray,  Francis  '  in  the 


We  have  now  learned  a  good  deal  about  Logan's 
habitual  associates,  and  we  have  merely  glanced  at 
a  few  of  the  numberless  plots  against  James  which 
were  encouraged  by  the  English  Government.  If 
James  was  nervously  apprehensive  of  treason,  he 
had  good  cause.  But  of  Logan  at  the  moment  of  the 

o  o 

Gowrie  Plot,  we  know  nothing  from  public  documents. 
We  do  know,  however,  on  evidence  which  has  pre- 
viously been  in  part  unpublished,  in  part  unobserved, 
that  from  August  1600  onwards,  Logan  was  oddly 
excited  and  restless.  Though  not  in  debt — or  at 
least  though  no  record  of  his  '  horning'  exists — he 
took  to  selling  his  lands,  Eestalrig,  Flemington, 
Gunnisgreen,  Fastcastle.1  After  1600  he  sold  them 
all ;  he  wallowed  in  drink ;  he  made  his  wife 
wretched ;  with  his  eldest  son  he  was  on  ill  terms ; 
he  wandered  to  London,  and  to  France  in  1605, 
and  he  returned  to  die  (of  plague,  it  seems)  in 
the  Canongate,  a  landless  but  a  monied  man,  in 
July  1606. 

Why  did  Logan  sell  all  his  lands,  investing  in 
shipping  property  ?  The  natural  inference,  at  the 
time,  was  that  he  had  been  engaged  in  '  some  ill 
turn,'  some  mysterious  conspiracy,  and  people  pro- 
bably (certainly,  if  we  believe  the  evidence  to 
follow)  thought  that  he  had  been  an  accomplice 
in  the  Gowrie  affair. 

He  died,  and  his  children  by  his  first  wives 
dissociated  themselves  from  his  executorship.  The 

1  He  had  sold  Nether  Gogar  in  1596. 



bulk  of  it  was  the  unpaid  part  of  the  purchase 
money  for  his  lands,  sold  by  him  to  Balmerino, 
and  Dunbar,  James's  trusted  ministers,  who  owed 
some  33,000  marks  to  the  estate. 

Logan  had  a  'doer,'  or  law  agent,  a  country 
writer,  or  notary,  named  Sprot,  who  dwelt  at  Eye- 
mouth,  a  hungry  creature,  who  did  not  even  own 
a  horse.  When  Logan  rode  to  Edinburgh,  Sprot 
walked  thither  to  join  him.  Yet  the  two  were  boon 
companions  ;  Sprot  was  always  loitering  and  watch- 
ing at  Gunnisgreen,  always  a  guest  at  the  great 
Christmas  festivals,  given  by  the  Laird  to  his  rough 
neighbours.  The  death  of  Logan  was  a  disaster  to 
Sprot,  and  to  all  the  parasites  of  the  Laird. 

Logan  died,  we  saw,  in  July  1606.  In  April, 
1608,  Sprot  was  arrested  by  a  legal  official,  named 
Watty  Doig.  He  had  been  blabbing  in  his  cups,  it  is 
said,  about  the  Gowrie  affair ;  certainlv  most  com- 


promising  documents,  apparently  in  Logan's  hand, 
and  with  his  signature,  were  found  on  Sprot's  person. 
They  still  bear  the  worn  softened  look  of  papers 
carried  for  long  in  the  pockets.1  Sprot  was  ex- 
amined, and  confessed  that  he  knew  beforehand  of 
the  Gowrie  conspiracy,  and  that  the  documents  in 
his  possession  were  written  by  Logan  to  Gowrie 
and  other  plotters,  He  was  tortured  and  in  part 
recanted  ;  Logan,  he  said,  had  not  written  the  guilty 
letters :  he  himself  had  forged  them.  This  was  all 
before  July  5,  1608,  while  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant  lay  in 

1  Some  of  the  papers  are  in  the  General  Register  House,  Edinburgh. 


prison,  in  London,  on  the  same  charge  of  guilty  fore- 
knowledge. Early  in  July  1608,  the  Earl  of  Dunbar 
came  from  London  to  Edinburgh,  to  deal  with  the 
affairs  of  the  Kirk.  He  took  Sprot  out  of  his  dun- 
geon, gave  him  a  more  wholesome  chamber,  secluded 
him  from  gentlemen  who  came  and  threatened  him 


(or  so  he  said)  if  he  made  revelations,  and  Dunbar 
provided  him  with  medical  attendance.  The  wounds 
inflicted  in  '  the  boot '  were  healed. 

For  six  weeks  Sprot  was  frequently  examined, 
before  members  of  the  Privy  Council  and  others, 
without  torture.  What  he  said  the  public  did  not 
know,  nor,  till  now,  have  historians  been  better 
informed.  Throughout,  after  July  5,  1608,  he  per- 
sisted in  declaring  Logan's  complicity  in  the  Gowrie 
conspiracy,  and  his  own  foreknowledge.  He  was 
tried,  solely  on  the  evidence  of  guilty  foreknowledge 
alleged  in  his  own  confessions,  and  of  extracts,  given 
by  him  from  memory  only,  of  a  letter  from  Gowrie  to 
Logan  (not  one  of  those  which  he  claimed  to  have 
forged),  and  another  of  Logan  to  Gowrie,  both  of 
July  1600.  On  August  12,  Sprot  was  hanged  at  Edin- 
burgh. He  repeated  his  confession  of  guilt  from 
every  corner  of  the  scaffold.  He  uttered  a  long  re- 
ligious speech  of  contrition.  Once,  he  said,  he  had 
been  nearly  drowned  :  but  God  preserved  him  for 
this  great  day  of  confession  and  repentance.  But  no 
unbeliever  in  the  guilt  of  Gowrie,  says  Calderwood, 
6  was  one  whit  the  more  convinced.'  Of  course  not, 
nor  wo  aid  the  death  of  Henderson — which  they 



clamoured  for — have  convinced  them.  They  said,, 
falsely,  that  Sprot  was  really  condemned  as  a  forger, 
and,  having  to  die,  took  oath  to  his  guilt  in  the 
Gowrie  conspiracy,  in  consideration  of  promises  of 
help  to  his  wife  and  family.1 

Nearly  a  year  later,  in  June  1609,  the  exhumed 
remains  of  Lo^an  were  brought  into  court  (a  regular 

4— J  ^-J  \  CJ 

practice  in  the  case  of  dead  traitors),  and  were  tried 
for  treason.  Five  letters  by  Logan,  of  July  1600, 
were  now  produced.  Three  were  from  Logan  to 
conspirators  unnamed  and  unknown.  One  was  to  a 
retainer  and  messenger  of  his,  Laird  Bower,  who  had 
died  in  January  1606.  These  letters  were  declared, 
by  several  honourable  witnesses,  to  be  in  Logan's  very 
unusual  handwriting  and  orthography :  they  were 

1  The  evidence  for  all  that  occurred  to  Sprot,  between  April  and 
July  1608,  is  that  of  a  manuscript  History  of  the  Kirk  of 
Scotland,  now  in  the  Advocates'  Library.  It  is  written  in  an  early 
seventeenth-century  hand.  Calderwood  follows  it  almost  textually  up 
to  a  certain  point  where  the  author  of  the  MS.  history  says  that 
Sprot,  on  the  scaffold,  declared  that  he  had  no  promise  of  benefit  to  his 
family.  But  Calderwood  declares,  or  says  that  others  declare,  that 
Sprot  was  really  condemned  as  a  forger  (which  is  untrue),  but  con- 
fessed to  the  Gowrie  conspiracy  in  return  for  boons  to  his  wife  and 

We  have,  of  course,  no  evidence  that  anything  was  done  by 
Government,  or  by  any  one,  for  Mrs.  Sprot  and  the  children.  The 
author  of  the  MS.,  which  Calderwood  used  as  he  pleased,  avers  that 
Sprot  denied  on  the  scaffold  the  fact  that  he  had  any  promise. 
Neither  draft  nor  official  account  confirms  the  MS.  history  on  the 
point  of  no  promise.  The  official  draft  of  his  last  moments  (from 
its  interlineations,  each  signed  by  the  Clerk  of  Council)  appears  to 
have  been  drawn  up  on  the  spot,  or  hurriedly,  as  soon  as  Sprot  was 
dead.  This  is  the  aspect  of  the  draft  of  the  account ;  the  official 
printed  account  says  that  there  was  'no  place  of  writing  on  the 
scaffold,  in  respect  of  the  press  and  multitude  of  people  '  (Pitcairn,  ii. 


compared  with  many  genuine  letters  of  his,  and  no 
difference  was  found.  The  Parliamentary  Committee, 
6  The  Lords  of  the  Articles,'  previously  sceptical, 
were  convinced  by  the  five  letters,  the  evidence  to 
handwriting,  the  energy  of  the  Earl  of  Dunbar,  and 
the  eloquence  of  the  King's  Advocate.  Logan's 
children  were  all  forfeited,  and  Dunbar  saved  the 
money  which  he  owed  to  Logan's  estate.  This  trial 
is  not  alluded  to,  either  by  Calderwood  or  Arch- 
bishop Spottiswoode,  in  their  histories.  The  five 
letters  produced  in  the  trial  of  Logan  exist,  and 
have  been  accepted  as  authentic  by  Mr.  Tytler  and 
Mr.  Hill  Burton,  but  not  by  writers  who  favour  the 
Euthvens.  We  print  all  five  letters  in  Appendix  C. 

Meanwhile  what  had  Sprot  really  said,  under 
private  examination,  between  July  5  and  August  12, 
1608,  when  he  was  executed  ? 

This  question  is  to  be  answered,  from  the  hitherto 
unpublished  records,  in  the  following  chapters.  But, 
in  common  charity,  the  reader  must  be  warned  that 
the  exposition  is  inevitably  puzzling  and  complex. 
Sprot,  under  examination,  lied  often,  lied  variously, 
and,  perhaps,  lied  to  the  last.  Moreover  much, 
indeed  everything,  depends  here  on  exact  dates,  and 
Sprot's  are  loose,  as  was  natural  in  the  circumstances, 
the  events  of  which  he  spoke  being  so  remote  in 

Consequently  the  results  of  criticism  of  his  con- 
fession may  here  be  stated  with  brevity.  The 
persevering  student,  the  reader  interested  in  odd 


pictures  of  domestic  life,  and  in  strange  human 
characters  may  read  on  at  his  own  peril.  But  the 
actual  grains  of  fact,  extracted  from  tons  of  false- 
hood, may  be  set  down  in  very  few  words. 

The   genuine   and  hitherto  unknown  confessions 


of  Sprot  add  no  absolute  certainty  as  to  the  exis- 
tence of  a  Growrie  conspiracy.  His  words,  when  un- 
corroborated, can  have  no  weight  with  a  jury.  He 
confessed  that  all  the  alleged  Logan  papers  which, 
up  to  two  days  before  his  death,  were  in  possession  of 
the  Privy  Council,  were  forgeries  by  himself.  But, 
on  August  10,  he  announced  that  he  had  possessed 
one  genuine  letter  of  Logan  to  Gowrie  (dated  July 
29,  1600).  That  letter  (our  Letter  IV)  or  a  forged 
copy  was  then  found  in  his  repositories.  Expert 
evidence,  however,  decides  that  this  document,  like 
all  the  others,  is  in  a  specious  imitation  of  Logan's 
hand,  but  that  it  has  other  characteristics  of  Sprot's 
own  hand,  and  was  penned  by  Sprot  himself.  Why 
he  kept  it  back  so  long,  why  he  declared  that  it 
alone  was  genuine,  we  do  not  know.  That  it  is 
genuine,  in  substance,  and  was  copied  by  Sprot  from 
a  real  letter  of  Logan's  in  an  imitation  of  Logan's 

O  <-> 

hand,  and  that,  if  so,  it  proves  Logan's  accession  to 
the  conspiracy,  is  my  own  private  opinion.  But 
that  opinion  is  based  on  mere  literary  considerations, 
on  what  is  called  '  internal  evidence,'  and  is,  there- 
fore, purely  a  matter  of  subjective  impression,  like 
one's  idea  of  the  possible  share  of  Shakespeare  in 
a  play  mainly  by  Fletcher  or  another.  Evidence  of 


this  kind  is  not  historical  evidence.  It  follows  that 
the  whole  affair  of  Sprot,  and  of  the  alleged  Logan 
letters,  adds  nothing  certain  to  the  reasons  for  believ- 
ing that  there  was  a  Gowrie  conspiracy.  As  far  as 
Sprot  and  his  documents  are  concerned,  we  know 
that  all,  as  they  stand,  are  pure  fictitious  counterfeits 
by  that  unhappy  man,  while,  as  to  whether  one 
letter  (IV)  and  perhaps  another  (I)  are  genuine  in 
substance,  every  reader  must  form  his  own  opinion, 
on  literary  grounds,  and  no  opinion  is  of  much  value. 
Such  is  a  brief  summary  of  the  facts.  But  the 
tenacious  inquirer  who  can  foUow  us  through  the 
tangled  mazes  of  Sprot's  private  confessions,  will 
perhaps  agree  with  me  that  they  contain  distinguish- 
able grains  of  fact,  raising  a  strong  surmise  that 
Logan  was  really  involved  with  Gowrie  in  a  plot. 
Yet  this,  again,  is  a  subjective  impression,  which 
may  vary  with  each  reader. 



THE  final  and  deepest  mystery  of  the  mysterious 
Gowrie  affair  rises,  like  a  mist  from  a  marsh,  out  of 
these  facts  concerning  Sprot.  When  he  was  convicted, 
and  hanged,  persisting  in  his  confessions,  on  August  12, 
1608,  no  letters  by  Gowrie,  or  any  other  conspirator, 
were  produced  in  Court.  Extracts,  however,  of  a 
letter  from  Gowrie  to  Logan,  and  of  one  from  Logan 
to  Gowrie,  were  quoted  in  Sprot's  formal  Indictment. 
They  were  also  quoted  in  an  official  publication,  an 
account  of  Sprot's  case,  prepared  by  Sir  William 
Hart,  the  Chief  Justice,  and  issued  in  1608.  Both 
these  documents  (to  which  we  return)  are  given  by 
Mr.  Pitcairn,  in  the  second  volume  of  his  '  Criminal 
Trials.'  But  later,  when  the  dead  Logan  was  tried 
in  1609,  five  of  his  alleged  plot  letters  (never  publicly 
mentioned  in  Sprot's  trial)  were  produced  by  the  pro- 
secution, and  not  one  of  these  was  identical  with  the 
letter  of  Logan  cited  in  the  Indictment  of  Sprot,  and 
in  the  official  account  of  his  trial.  There  were  strong 
resemblances  between  Logan's  letter,  quoted  but  not 
produced,  in  1608,  and  a  letter  of  Logan's  produced, 


and  attested  to  be  in  his  handwriting,  in  1609.     But 

^_ / ' 

there  were  also  remarkable  variations. 

Of  these  undeniable  facts  most  modern  historians 
who  were  convinced  of  the  guilt  of  the  Euthvens 
take  no  notice  ;  though  the  inexplicable  discrepan- 
cies between  the  Logan  letters  quoted  in  1608,  and 
the  letters  produced  as  his  in  1609,  had  always  been 
matters  of  comment  and  criticism. 

As  to  the  letters  of  1609,  Mr.  Tytler  wrote,  '  their 
import  cannot  be  mistaken;  their  authenticity  has 

never  been  questioned ;  they  still  exist '     Now 

assuredly  the  letters  exist.  The  five  alleged  originals 
were  found  by  Mr.  Pitcairn,  among  the  Warrants  of 
Parliament,  in  the  General  Eegister  House,  in  Edin- 
burgh, and  were  published  by  him,  but  without  their 
endorsements,  in  his  '  Criminal  Trials  '  in  Scotland. 
(1832).1  Copies  of  the  letters  are  also  '  bookit,'  or 
engrossed,  in  the  Eecords  of  Parliament.  These 
*  bookit '  transcripts  were  made  carelessly,  and  the 
old  copyist  was  puzzled  by  the  handwriting  and 
orthography  of  the  alleged  originals  before  him.  The 
controversy  about  the  genuineness  of  the  five  letters 
took  new  shapes  after  Mr.  Pitcairn  discovered  those 
apparently  in  Logan's  hand,  and  printed  them  in  1832. 
Mr.  Hill  Burton  accepts  them  with  no  hint  of  doubt, 
and  if  Mr.  Tytler  was  the  most  learned  and  impar- 
tial, Mr.  Hill  Burton  was  the  most  sceptical  of  our 
historians.  Yet  on  this  point  of  authenticity  these 
historians  were  too  hasty.  The  authenticity  of  the 

1  Vol.  ii.  pp.  282-7. 


letters  (except  one,  No.  IV)  was  denied  by  the  very 
man,  Sprot,  in  whose  possession  most  of  them  were 
originally  found.1  The  evidence  of  his  denial  has 
been  extant  ever  since  Calderwood  wrote,  who  tells 
us,  clearly  on  the  authority  of  an  older  and  anony- 
mous History  in  MS.  (now  in  the  Advocates'  Library), 
that  Sprot,  when  first  taken  (April  13-19,  1608), 
accused  Logan  of  writing  the  letters,  but  withdrew 
the  charge  under  torture,  and  finally,  when  kindly 
treated  by  Lord  Dunbar,  and  healed  of  his  wounds, 
declared  that  he  himself  had  forced  all  the  Logan 

O  O 

letters  (save  one).  Yet  Logan  was,  to  Sprot' s  certain 
knowledge  (so  Sprot  persistently  declared),  involved 
in  the  Gowrie  conspiracy. 

Now  assuredly  this  appeared  to  be  an  incredible 
assertion  of  Calderwood,  or  of  his  MS.  source.  He 
was  a  stern  Presbyterian,  an  enemy  of  the  King 
(who  banished  him),  and  an  intimate  friend  of  the 
Cranstoun  family,  who,  in  1600,  were  closely  con- 
nected with  conspirators  of  their  name.  Thus  pre- 
judiced, Calderwood  was  believed  by  Mr.  Pitcairn 
to  have  made  an  untrue  or  confused  statement. 
Logan  is  in  a  plot  ;  Sprot  knows  it,  and  yet  Sprot 
forges  letters  to  prove  Logan's  guilt,  and  these 
letters,  found  in  Sprot's  possession,  prove  his  own 
guilty  knowledge.  There  seems  no  sense  in  such 
behaviour.  It  might  have  been  guessed  that  Sprot 
knew  of  Logan's  guilt,  but  had  no  documentary 

1  Letter  I  is  a  peculiar  case,  and  was  not,  perhaps,  spoken  of  by 
Sprot  at  all. 


evidence  of  it,  and  therefore  forged  evidence  for  the 
purpose  of  extorting  blackmail  from  Logan.  But, 
by  1608,  when  Sprot  was  arrested  with  some  of  the 
documents  in  his  pocket,  Logan  had _  been  dead  for 
nearly  two  years. 

The  guess,  that  Sprot  knew  of  Logan's  treason, 
but  forged  the  proof  of  it,  for  purposes  of  black- 
mailing him,  was  not  made  by  historians.  The  guess 
was  getting  '  warm,'  as  children  say  in  their  game, 
was  very  near  the  truth,  but  it  was  not  put  forward 
by  criticism.  Historians,  in  fact,  knew  that  Logan 
would  not  have  stood  an  attempt  at  extortion. 
He  was  not  that  kind  of  man.  In  1594,  he  made  a 
contract  with  Napier  of  Merchistoun,  the  inventor 
of  Logarithms.  Tradition  declared  that  there  was  a 
hoard  of  gold  in  '  the  place  of  Fastcastle.'  Napier 
was  to  discover  it  (probably  by  the  Divining  Eod), 
and  Logan  was  to  give  him  a  third  of  the  profits. 
But  Napier,  knowing  his  man,  inserted  a  clause  in 
the  deed,  to  the  effect  that,  after  finding  the  gold,  he 
was  to  be  allowed  a  free  exit  from  Fastcastle.  Whether 
he  found  the  hoard  or  not,  we  do  not  know.  But, 
two  years  later,  in  letting  a  portion  of  his  property, 
Napier  introduced  the  condition  that  his  tenant 
should  never  sublet  it  to  any  person  of  the  name  of 
Logan !  If  he  found  the  gold  he  probably  was  not 
allowed  to  carry  off  his  third  share.  Logan  being  a 
resolute  character  of  this  kind,  Sprot,  a  cowering 
creature,  would  not  forge  letters  to  blackmail  him. 
He  would  have  been  invited  to  dine  at  Fastcastle. 


The  cliffs  are  steep,  the  sea  is  deep,  and  tells  no 

Thus  where  was  Sprot's  motive  for  forging  letters 
in  Logan's  hand,  and  incriminating  the  Laird  of 
Eestalrig,  and  for  carrying  them  about  in  his  pocket 
in  1608  ?  But  where  was  his  motive  for  confessing 
when  taken  and  examined  that  he  did  forge  the 
letters,  if  his  confession  was  untrue,  while  swearing, 
to  his  certain  destruction,  that  he  had  a  guilty 
foreknowledge  of  the  Gowrie  conspiracy  ?  He  might 
conciliate  Government  and  get  pardoned  as  King's 
evidence,  by  producing  what  he  called  genuine 
Logan  letters,  and  thus  proving  the  conspiracy,  and 
clearing  the  Kind's  character ;  but  this  he  did  not 

CJ  C_, 

do.  He  swore  to  the  last  that  Logan  and  he  were 
both  guilty  (so  Calderwood's  authority  rightly  re- 
ported), but  that  the  plot  letters  were  forged  by 
himself,  to  what  end  Calderwood  did  not  say.  All 
this  appeared  midsummer  madness.  Calderwood,  it 
was  argued,  must  be  in  error. 

A  theory  was  suggested  that  Sprot  really  knew 
nothing  of  the  Gowrie  mystery ;  that  he  had  bragged 
falsely  of  his  knowledge,  in  his  cups ;  that  the  Govern- 
ment pounced  on  him,  made  him  forge  the  letters  of 
Logan  to  clear  the  King's  character  by  proving  a 
conspiracy,  and  then  hanged  him,  still  confessing  his 
guilt.  But  Mr.  Mark  Napier,  a  learned  antiquary, 
replied  (in  a  long  Appendix  to  the  third  volume  of 
the  History  by  the  contemporary  Spottiswoode)  to 
this  not  very  probable  conjecture  by  showing  that, 


when  they  tried  Sprot,  Government  produced  no 
letters  at  all,  only  an  alleged  account  by  Sprot  of 
two  letters  unproduced.  Therefore,  in  August  1608, 
Mr.  Napier  argued,  Government  had  no  letters  ;  if 
they  had  possessed  them,  they  would  infallibly  have 
produced  them.  That  seemed  sound  reasoning  In 
1608  Government  had  no  plot  letters ;  therefore,  the 
five  produced  in  the  trial  of  the  dead  Logan  were 
forged  for  the  Government,  by  somebody,  between 
August  1608  and  June  1609.  Mr.  Napier  refused 
to  accept  Calderwood's  wild  tale  that  Sprot,  while 
confessing  Logan's  guilt  and  his  own,  also  confessed 
to  having  forged  Logan's  letters. 

Yet  Calderwood's  version  (or  rather  that  of  his 
anonymous  authority  in  MS.)  was  literally  accurate. 
Sprot,  in  private  examinations  (July  5,  August  11, 
1608),  confessed  to  having  forged  all  the  letters  but 
one,  the  important  one,  Letter  IV,  Logan  to  Gowrie. 
This  confession  the  Government  burked. 

The  actual  circumstances  have  remained  unknown 
and  are  only  to  be  found  in  the  official,  but  suppressed, 
reports  of  Sprot's  private  examinations,  now  in  the 
muniment  room  of  the  Earl  of  Haddington.  These 
papers  enable  us  partly  to  unravel  a  coil  which, 
without  them,  no  ingenuity  could  disentangle.  Sir 
Thomas  Hamilton,  the  King's  Advocate,  popularly 
styled  '  Tarn  o'  the  Cowgate,'  from  his  house  in  that 
old  '  street  of  palaces,'  was  the  ancestor  of  Lord 
Haddington,  who  inherits  his  papers.  Sir  Thomas 
was  an  eminent  financier,  lawyer,  statesman,  and 


historical  collector  and  inquirer,  who  later  became 
Lord  Binning,  and  finally  Earl  of  Haddington.  As 
King's  Advocate  he  held,  and  preserved,  the  deposi- 
tions, letters,  and  other  documents,  used  in  the  private 
examinations  of  Sprot,  on  and  after  July  5,  1608. 
The  records  of  Sprot's  examinations  between  April  1 9 
and  July  5,  1600,  are  not  known  to  be  extant. 

Sir  Thomas's  collection  consists  of  summonses,  or 
drafts  of  summonses,  for  treason,  against  the  dead 
Logan  (1609).  There  is  also  a  holograph  letter  of 
confession  (July  5,  1608)  from  Sprot  to  the  Earl  of 
Dunbar.  There  are  the  records  of  the  private  exami- 
nations of  Sprot  (July  5-August  11,  1600)  and  of 
other  persons  whom  he  more  or  less  implicated. 
There  are  copies  by  Sprot,  in  his  '  course,'  that  is, 
current,  handwriting,  of  two  of  the  five  letters  in 
Logan's  hand  (or  in  an  imitation  of  it).  These  are 
letters  I  and  IV,  produced  at  the  posthumous  trial 
of  Logan  in  June  1609.  Finally,  there  are  letters 
in  Logan's  hand  (or  in  an  imitation  of  it),  addressed 
to  James  Bower  and  to  one  Ninian  Chirnside,  with 
allusions  to  the  plot,  and  there  is  a  long  memorandum 
of  matters  of  business,  also  containing  hints  about 
the  conspiracy,  in  Logan's  hand,  or  in  an  imitation 
thereof,  addressed  to  John  Bell,  and  James  Bower. 

Of  these  compromising  papers,  one,  a  letter  to 
Chirnside,  was  vfound  by  the  Eev.  Mr.  Anderson  (in 
1902)  torn  into  thirteen  pieces  (whereof  one  is  miss- 
ing), wrapped  up  in  a  sheet  of  foolscap  of  the  period. 
Mr.  Anderson  has  placed  the  pieces  together,  and 


copied  the  letter.  Of  all  these  documents,  only  five 
letters  (those  published  by  Mr.  Pitcairn)  were 
'libelled,'  or  founded  on,  and  produced  by  the 
Government  in  the  posthumous  trial  of  Logan  (1609). 
Not  one  was  produced  before  the  jury  who  tried 
Sprot  on  August  12,  1608.  He  was  condemned,  we 
said,  merely  on  his  own  confession.  In  his  '  dittay,' 
or  impeachment,  and  in  the  official  account  of 
the  affair,  published  in  1608,  were  cited  frag- 
ments of  two  letters  quoted  from  memory  by  Sprot 
under  private  examination.  These  quotations  from 
memory  differ,  we  saw,  in  many  places  from  any  of 
the  five  letters  produced  in  the  trial  of  1609,  a  fact 
which  has  aroused  natural  suspicions.  This  is  the 
true  explanation  of  the  discrepancies  between  the 
plot  letter  cited  in  Sprot's  impeachment,  and  in  the 
Government  pamphlet  on  his  case ;  and  the  similar, 
though  not  identical,  letter  produced  in  1609. 
The  indictment  and  the  tract  published  by  Govern- 
ment contain  merely  Sprot's  recollections  of  the 
epistle  from  Logan  to  Gowrie.  The  letter  (IV) 
produced  in  1609  is  the  genuine  letter  of  Logan, 
or  so  Sprot  seems,  falsely,  to  swear.  This  document 
did  not  come  into  the  hands  of  Government  till 
after  the  Indictment,  containing  Sprot's  quotation  of 
the  letter  from  memory,  was  written,  or,  if  it  did, 
was  kept  back. 

All  this  has  presently  to  be  proved  in  detail. 

As   the    Government    (a   fact   unknown   to    our 
historians)    possessed  all   the  alleged   Logan   letters 


and  papers  before  Sprot  was  hanged,  and  as,  at  his 
trial,  they  concealed  this  circumstance  even  from 
Archbishop  Spottiswoode  (who  was  present  at  Sprot's 
public  trial  by  jury),  a  great  deal  of  perplexity  has 
been  caused,  and  many  ingenious  but  erroneous 
conjectures  have  been  invented.  The  Indictment 
or  'dittay'  against  Sprot,  on  August  12,  1608,  is  a 
public  document,  but  not  an  honest  one.  It  con- 
tains the  following  among  other  averments.  We  are 

^— '  C_^ 

told  that  Sprot,  in  July  1600,  at  Fastcastle,  saw  and 
read  the  beginning  of  a  letter  from  Logan  to  Gowrie 
(Letter  IV).  Logan  therein  expresses  delight  at  receiv- 
ing a  letter  of  Gowrie's  :  he  is  anxious  to  avenge  '  the 
Macchiavelian  massacre  of  our  dearest  friends '  (the 
Earl  decapitated  in  1584).  He  advises  Gowrie  to  be 
circumspect,  '  and  be  earnest  with  your  brother,  that 
he  be  not  rash  in  any  speeches  touching  the  purpose 
of  Padua.' 

This  letter,  as  thus  cited,  is  not  among  the  five 
later  produced  in  1609  ;  it  is  a  blurred  reminiscence 
of  parts  of  two  of  them.  The  reason  of  these  discre- 
pancies is  that  the  letter  is  quoted  in  the  Indictment, 
not  from  the  document  itself  (which  apparently 
reach  the  prosecution  after  the  Indictment  was 
framed),  but  from  a  version  given  from  memory  by 
Sprot,  in  one  of  his  private  examinations.  Next, 
Sprot  is  told  in  his  Indictment  that,  some  time  later, 
Logan  asked  Bower  to  find  this  letter,  which  Gowrie, 
for  the  sake  of  secrecy,  had  returned  to  Bower  to 
be  delivered  to  Logan.  We  know  that  this  was  the 


practice  of  intriguers.  After  the  December  riot  at 
Edinburgh  in  1596,  the  Eev.  Eobert  Bruce,  writing 

*—  o 

to  ask  Lord  Hamilton  to  head  the  party  of  the  Kirk, 
is  said  to  request  him  to  return  his  own  letter 
by  the  bearer.  Gowrie  and  Logan  practised  the 
same  method.  The  indictment  goes  on  to  say  that 
Bower,  being  unable  to  read,  asked  Sprot  to  search 
for  Logan's  letter  to  Gowrie,  among  his  papers,  that 
Sprot  found  it, '  abstracted '  it  (stole  it),  retained  it, 
and  '  read  it  divers  times,'  a  false  quotation  of  the  MS. 
confession.  Sprot  really  said  that  he  kept  the  stolen 
letter  (IV) '  till '  he  had  framed  on  it,  as  a  model,  three 
forged  letters.  It  contained  a  long  passage  of  which 
the  '  substance '  is  quoted.  This  passage  as  printed 
in  Sprot's  Indictment  is  not  to  be  found  textually,  in 
any  of  the  five  letters  later  produced.  It  is,  we 
repeat,  merely  the  version  given  from  memory,  by 
Sprot,  at  one  of  his  last  private  examinations,  before 
the  letter  itself  came  into  the  hands  of  Government. 
In  either  form,  the  letter  meant  high  treason. 

Such  is  the  evidence  of  the  Indictment  against 


Sprot,  of  August  12,  1608.  In  the  light  of  Sprot's 
real  confessions,  hitherto  lying  in  the  Haddington 
muniment  room,  we  know  the  Indictment  to  be  a 
false  and  garbled  document.  Next,  on  the  part  of 
Government,  we  have  always  had  a  published  state- 
ment by  Sir  William  Hart,  the  King's  Justice,  with 
an  introduction  by  Dr.  George  Abbot,  later  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  who  was  in  Edinburgh,  and 
present  when  Sprot  was  hanged.  This  tract  was 



published   by  Bradewood,  London,  in  1608,  and  is 
reprinted  by  Pitcairn. 

After  a  verbose,  pious,  and  pedantic  diatribe, 
Abbot  comes  to  the  point.  Sprot  was  arrested 
in  April  1608,  first  on  the  strength  'of  some  words 
that  fell  from  himself,'  and,  next,  '  of  some  papers 
found  upon  him!  What  papers  ?  They  are  never 
mentioned  in  the  Indictment  of  Sprot.  They  are 
never  alluded  to  in  the  sequel  of  Abbot's  pamphlet, 
containing  the  official  account,  by  Sir  William  Hart, 
of  Sprot's  Trial  and  Examinations.  In  mentioning 
'  some  papers  found  upon'  Sprot,  Dr.  Abbot  'let  the 
cat  out  of  the  bag,'  but  writers  like  Mr.  Napier,  and 
other  sceptics  of  his  way  of  thinking,  deny  that  any 
of  the  compromising  letters  were  found  at  all. 

No  letters,  we  say,  are  mentioned  by  Sir  William 
Hart,  in  Abbot's  tract  (1608),  as  having  been  produced. 
Archbishop  Spottiswoode,  who  was  present  at  Sprot's 
public  trial  (August  12,  1608),  thought  the  man  one 
of  those  insane  self-accusers  who  are  common  enough, 
and  observes  that  he  did  not  '  show  the  letter ' — that 
of  Logan  to  Gowrie  (IV).     This  remark  of  Spottis- 
woode, an  Archbishop,  a  converted  Presbyterian,  a 
courtier,  and  an  advocate  for  the  King,  has  been  a 
source  of  joy  to  all  Ruthven  apologists.  '  Spottiswoode 
saw  though  the  farce,'  they  say ;  '  there  was  no  letter  at 
all,  and,  courtier  arid  recreant  as  he  was,  Spottiswoode 
had  the  honesty  to  say  so  in  his  History.' 

To  this  there  used  to  be  no  reply.     But  now  we 
know  the  actual  and  discreditable  truth.     The  Go- 


vernment  was,  in  fact,  engaged  in  a  shameful  scheme 
to  which  Archbishops  were  better  not  admitted. 
They  meant  to  use  this  letter  (IV)  on  a  later  occasion, 
but  they  also  meant  to  use  some  of  the  other  letters 
which  Sprot  (unknown  to  Spottiswoode)  had  con- 
fessed to  be  forgeries.  The  archiepiscopal  con- 
science might  revolt  at  such  an  infamy,  Spottiswoode 
might  tell  the  King,  so  the  Scottish  Government  did 
not  then  allow  the  Archbishop,  or  the  public,  to 
know  that  they  had  any  Logan  letters.  No  letter  at 
all  came  into  open  and  public  Court  in  1608.  Hart 
cites  a  short  one,  from  Gowrie  to  Logan.  Gowrie 
hopes  to  see  Logan,  or,  at  least,  to  send  a  trusty 
messenger,  '  anent  the  purpose  you  know.  But 
rather  would  I  wish  yourself  to  come,  not  only  for 
that  errand,  but  for  some  other  thing  that  I  have  to 
advise  with  you.'  There  is  no  date  of  place  or  day. 
This  letter,  harmless  enough,  was  never  produced  in 
Court,  and  Mr.  Barbe  supposes  that  it  was  a  concoction 
of  Hart's.  This  is  an  unlucky  conjecture.  The  Had- 
dington  MSS.  prove  that  Sprot  really  recited  Gowrie's 
letter,  or  professed  to  do  so,  from  memory,  in  one 
of  his  private  examinations.  The  prosecution  never 
pretended  to  possess  or  produce  Gowrie's  letter. 

Next,  Hart  cites,  as  Logan's  answer  to  Gowrie's 
first  letter  (which  it  was  not),  the  passages  already 
quoted  by  the  prosecution  in  Sprot's  Indictment, 
passages  out  of  a  letter  of  Logan's  given  by  Sprot 
from  memory  only.  Hart  goes  on  to  describe,  as  if 
on  Sprot's  testimony,  certain  movements  of  the 

N  2 


Laird's  after  he  received  Gowrie's  reply  to  his  own 
answer  to  Gowrie.  Logan's  letter  (as  given  in  1609) 
is  dated  July  29,  and  it  is  argued  that  his  movements, 
after  receiving  Gowrie's  reply,  are  inconsistent  with 
any  share  in  the  plot  which  failed  on  August  5.  Even 
if  it  were  so,  the  fact  is  unimportant,  for  Sprot  was 
really  speaking  of  movements  at  a  date  much  earlier 
than  July  29  ;  he  later  gave  a  separate  account  of 
what  Logan  was  doing  at  the  time  of  the  outbreak  of 
the  plot,  an  account  not  quoted  by  Hart,  who  fraudu- 
lently or  accidentally  confused  the  dates.  And 
next  we  find  it  as  good  as  explicitly  stated,  by  Hart, 
that  this  letter  of  Logan's  to  Gowrie  was  never  pro- 
duced in  open  Court.  '  Being  demanded  where  this 
above  written  letter,  written  by  Eestalrig  to  the  Earl 
of  Gowrie,  which  was  returned  ao-ain  bv  James 

o  »/ 

Bower,  is  now  ?  Deponeth  ....  that  he  (Sprot) 
left  the  above  written  letter  in  his  chest,  among  his 
writings,  when  he  was  taken  and  brought  away,  and 
that  it  is  closed  and  folded  within  a  piece  of  paper,' 
so  Hart  declares  in  Abbot's  tract.  He  falsified  the 
real  facts.  He  could  not  give  the  question  as  origi- 
nally put  to  Sprot,  for  that  involved  the  publication 
of  the  fact  that  all  the  letters  but  one  were  forged. 
The  question  in  the  authentic  private  report  ran 
thus  :  '  Demanded  where  is  that  letter  which  Eestal- 
rig wrote  to  the  Earl  of  Gowrie,  whereupon  the  said 
George  Sprot  wrote  and  forged  the  missives  produced  ? ' 
(August  10). 

The   real   letter   of  Logan  to  Gowrie,  the  only 


genuine  letter  (if  in  any  sense  genuine),  had  not  on 
August  10  been  produced.  The  others  were  in  the 
hands  of  the  Government.  Hart,  in  his  tract,  veils 
these  circumstances.  The  Government  meant  to  put 
the  letters  to  their  own  uses,  on  a  later  occasion,  at 
the  trial  of  the  dead  Logan. 

Meanwhile  we  must  keep  one  fact  steadily  in 
mind.  When  Sprot  confessed  to  having  forged 
treasonable  letters  in  Logan's  handwriting  (as  Calder- 
wood  correctly  reports  that  he  did  confess),  he  did 
not  include  among  them  Letter  IV  (Logan  to  Gowrie 
July  29,  1600).  That  letter  was  never  heard  of  by 
Sprot's  examiners  till  August  10,  and  never  came 
into  the  hands  of  his  examiners  till  late  on  August  11, 
or  early  on  August  12,  the  day  when  Sprot  was 
hanged.  Spottiswoode  was  never  made  aware  that 
the  letter  had  been  produced.  Why  Sprot  reserved 
this  piece  of  evidence  so  long,  why,  under  the  shadow 
of  the  gibbet,  he  at  last  produced  it,  we  shall  later 
attempt  to  explain,  though  with  but  little  confi- 
dence in  any  explanation. 

Meanwhile,  at  Sprot's  public  trial  in  1608,  the 
Government  were  the  conspirators.  They  burked 
the  fact  that  they  possessed  plot-letters  alleged  to  be 
by  Logan.  They  burked  the  fact  that  Sprot  con- 
fessed all  these,  with  one  or,  perhaps,  two  exceptions, 
to  be  forgeries  by  himself.  What  they  quoted,  as 
letters  of  Logan  and  Gowrie,  were  merely  descriptions 
of  such  letters  given  by  Sprot  from  memory  of  their 



WE  have  now  to  track  Sprot  through  the  labyrinth 
of  his  confessions  and  evasions,  as  attested  by  the 
authentic  reports  of  his  private  examinations  between 
July  5  and  the  day  of  his  death.  It  will  be  observed 
that,  while  insisting  on  his  own  guilt,  and  on  that  of 
Logan,  he  produced  no  documentary  evidence,  no 
genuine  letter  attributed  by  him  to  Logan,  nothing 
but  his  own  confessed  forgeries,  till  the  cord  was 
almost  round  his  neck — if  he  did  then. 

In  his  confessions  he  paints  with  sordid  and 
squalid  realism,  the  life  of  a  debauched  laird, 
tortured  by  terror,  and  rushing  from  his  fears  to 
forgetfulness  in  wine,  travel,  and  pleasure ;  and  to 
strange  desperate  dreams  of  flight.  As  a  '  human 
document '  the  confessions  of  Sprot  are  unique,  for 
that  period. 

On  July  5, 1608,  Sprot,  in  prison,  wrote,  in  his  own 
ordinary  hand,  the  tale  of  how  he  knew  of  Logan's 
guilt :  the  letter  was  conveyed  to  the  Earl  of  Dunbar, 
who,  with  Dunfermline,  governed  Scotland,  under  the 
absent  King.  The  prisoner  gave  many  sources  of 
his  knowledge,  but  the  real  source,  if  any  (Letter  IV), 

THE  LAIED  AND  THE  NOTARY        183 

he  reserved  till  he  was  certain  of  death  (August  10). 
Sprot  '  knew  perfectly,'  he  said,  on  July  5,  that  one 
letter  from  Gowrie  and  one  from  his  brother, 
Alexander  Euthven,  reached  Logan,  at  Fastcastle  and 
at  Gunnisgreen,  a  house  hard  by  Eyemouth,  where 
Sprot  was  a  notary,  and  held  cottage  land.1  Bower 
carried  Logan's  answers,  and  '  long  afterwards ' 
showed  Sprot  '  the  first  of  Gowrie's  letters '  (the 
harmless  one  about  desiring  an  interview)  and  also  a 
note  of  Logan's  to  Bower  himself,  '  which  is  amongst 
the  rest  of  the  letters  produced.'  It  is  No.  II,  but 
in  this  confession  of  July  5,  Sprot  appears  to  say  that 
Gowrie's  innocent  letter  to  Logan,  asking  for  an 
interview,  was  the  source  of  his  forgeries.  '  I  framed 
them  all  to  the  true  meaning  and  purpose  of  the 
letter  that  Bower  let  me  see,  to  make  the  matter 
more  clear  by  these  arguments  and  circumstances, 
for  the  cause  which  I  have  already '  (before  July  5) 
6  shewn  to  the  Lords  ' — that  is,  for  purposes  of  extort- 
ing money  from  Logan's  executors. 

This  statement  was  untrue.  The  brief  letter  to 
Logan  from  Gowrie  was  not  the  model  of  Sprot's 
forgeries ;  as  he  later  confessed  he  had  another 


model,  in  a  letter  of  Logan  to  Gowrie,  which  he 
held  back  till  the  last  day  of  his  life.  But  in  this 
confession  of  July  5,  Sprot  admits  that  he  saw,  not 
only  Gowrie's  letter  to  Logan  of  July  6  (?)  1600 
(a  letter  never  produced),  but  also  a  '  direction '  or 
letter  from  Logan  to  his  retainer,  Bower,  dated 

1  Laing,  Charters,  Nos.  1452,  1474-76,  2029. 


'The  Canongate,  July  18,  1600.'  This  is  our 
Letter  II.  Had  it  been  genuine,  then,  taken  with 
Gowrie's  letter  to  Logan,  it  must  have  aroused 
Sprot's  suspicions.  But  this  Letter  II,  about  which 
Sprot  told  discrepant  tales,  is  certainly  not  genuine. 
It  is  dated,  as  we  said,  'The  Canongate,  July  18, 
1600.'  Its  purport  is  to  inform  Bower,  then  at 
Brockholes,  near  Eyemouth,  that  Logan  had  received 
a  new  letter  from  Gowrie,  concerning  certain  pro- 
posals already  made  orally  to  him  by  the  Master  of 
Euthven.  Logan  hoped  to  get  the  lands  of  Diiieton 
for  his  share  in  the  enterprise.  He  ends  '  keep  all 
things  very  secret,  that  my  Lord,  my  brother  '  (Lord 
Home)  '  get  no  knowledge  of  our  purposes,  for  I ' 
(would)  '  rather  be  eirdit  quickj  that  is,  buried  alive 
(p.  205). 

Now  we  shall  show,  later,  the  source  whence  Sprot 
probably  borrowed  this  phrase  as  to  Lord  Home, 
and  being  eirdit  quick,  which  he  has  introduced  into 
his  forged  letter.  Moreover,  the  dates  are  impossible. 
The  first  of  the  five  letters  purports  to  be  from  Logan 
to  an  unnamed  conspirator,  addressed  as  '  Eight 
Honourable  Sir.'  It  is  not  certain  whether  this  letter 
was  in  the  hands  of  the  prosecution  before  the  day 
preceding  Sprot's  execution,  nor  is  it  certain  whether 
it  is  ever  alluded  to  by  Sprot  under  examination. 
But  it  is  dated  from  Fastcastle  on  July  18,  and  tells 
the  unknown  conspirator  that  Logan  has  just  heard 
from  Gowrie.  It  follows  that  Logan  had  heard  from 
Gowrie  on  July  18  at  Fastcastle,  that  he  thence  rode 

THE  LAIRD  AND  THE  NOTARY        185 

to  Edinburgh,  and  from  Edinburgh  wrote  his  letter 
(II)  to  Bower,  bidding  Bower  hasten  to  Edinburgh, 
to  consult.  This  is  absurd.  Logan  would  have 
summoned  Bower  from  Fastcastle,  much  nearer 
Bower's  home  than  Edinburgh.  Again,  in  Letter  I, 
Logan  informs  the  unknown  man  that  he  is  to  answer 
Gowrie  '  within  ten  days  at  furthest.'  That  being  so, 
he  does  not  need  Bower  in  such  a  hurry,  unless  it  be 
to  carry  the  letter  to  the  Unknown.  But,  in  that 
case,  he  would  have  summoned  Bower  from  Fast- 
castle,  he  would  not  have  ridden  to  Edinburgh  and 
summoned  him  thence.  Once  more,  Sprot  later 
confessed,  as  we  shall  see,  that  this  letter  to  Bower 
was  dictated  to  himself  by  Logan,  and  that  the  copy 
produced,  apparently  in  Logan's  hand,  was  forged  by 
him  from  the  letter  as  dictated  to  him.  He  thus 
contradicted  his  earlier  statement  that  Letter  II  was 
shown  to  him  by  Bower.  He  never  says  that  he  was 
in  Edinburgh  with  Logan  on  July  18.  Besides,  it  is 
not  conceivable  that,  by  dictating  Letter  II  to  Sprot, 
Logan  would  have  voluntarily  put  himself  in  the 
power  of  the  notary. 

This  is  a  fair  example  of  Sprot's  apparently 
purposeless  lying.  His  real  interest  throughout  was 
to  persuade  the  Government  that  he  was  giving  them 
genuine  Logan  letters.  This,  however,  he  denied, 
with  truth,  yet  he  lied  variously  about  the  nature  of 
his  confessed  forgeries. 

Sprot  was  so  false,  that  Government  might  con- 
ceive his  very  confession  of  having  forged  the  letters 


to  be  untrue.  The  skill  in  handwriting  of  that  age 
could  not  detect  them  for  impostures  ;  Government 
might  deem  that  he  had  stolen  genuine  letters  from 

C_2  C_J 

Bower ;  letters  which  might  legitimately  be  produced 
as  evidence.  Indeed  this  charitable  view  is  perhaps 
confirmed  by  the  extraordinary  fact,  to  be  later 
proved,  that  three  Edinburgh  ministers,  Mr.  Hall, 
Mr.  Hewat,  and  Mr.  Galloway,  with  Mr.  Lumisden, 
minister  of  Duddingston,  were  present  on  occasions 
when  Sprot  confessed  to  having  forged  the  letters. 
Yet  these  four  preachers  said  nothing,  as  far  as  we 
hear,  when  the  letters,  confessedly  forged,  were  pro- 
duced as  evidence,  in  1609,  to  ruin  Logan's  innocent 
child.  Did  the  preachers  think  the  letters  genuine 
in  spite  of  the  confession  that  they  were  forged  ? 
We  shall  see  later,  in  any  case,  that  the  contents  of 
the  three  letters  to  the  Unknown,  and  a  torn  letter, 
when  compared  with  Letter  IV,  demonstrate  that 
Sprot's  final  confession  to  having  forged  them  on  the 
model  of  IV  is  true  ;  indeed  the  fact  ought  to  have 
been  discovered,  on  internal  evidence,  even  by  critics 
unaware  of  his  confessions. 

We  now  pursue  Sprot's  written  deposition  of 
July  5.  He  gives,  as  grounds  of  his  knowledge  of 
Logan's  guilt,  certain  conversations  among  Logan's 
intimates,  yeomen  or  '  bonnet  lairds,'  or  servants, 
from  which  he  inferred  that  Logan  was  engaged  in 
treason.  Again,  just  before  Logan's  death  in  July 
1606,  he  was  delirious,  and  raved  of  forfeiture. 
But  Losan  had  been  engaged  in  various  treasons,  so 

* — • 

THE  LAIED  AND  THE  NOTARY        187 

his  ravings  need  not  refer  to  the  Gowrie  affair.  He 
had  been  on  Bothwell's  enterprises,  and  had  privy 
dealings  with  '  Percy,'  probably  Thomas  Percy, 
who,  in  1602,  secretly  visited  Hume  of  Manderston, 
a  kinsman  of  Logan.  That  intrigue  was  certainly 
connected  merely  with  James's  succession  to  the 
English  crown.  But  one  of  Logan's  retainers,  when 
this  affair  of  Percy  was  spoken  of  among  them,  said, 
according  to  Sprot,  that  the  Laird  had  been  engaged 
in  treason  '  nearer  home.' 

Sprot  then  writes  that  '  about  the  time  of  the 
conspiracy,'  Logan,  with  Matthew  Logan,  rode  to 
Dundee,  where  they  enjoyed  a  three  days'  drinking 
bout,  and  never  had  the  Laird  such  a  surfeit  of  wine. 
But  this  jaunt  could  not  be  part  of  the  Gowrie  plot, 
and  probably  occurred  after  its  failure.  Later, 
Sprot  gave  a  different  version  of  Logan's  conduct 
immediately  before  and  after  Gowrie's  death.  Once 
more,  after  Logan's  death,  one  Wallace  asked  Sprot 
to  be  silent,  if  ever  he  had  heard  of  '  the  Laird's  con- 
spiracy.' Sprot  ended  by  confessing  contritely  that 
he  had  forged  all  the  letters  (except  Letter  IV)  '  to  the 
true  meaning  and  purpose  of  the  letter  that  Bower  let 
me  see,'  a  passage  already  quoted,  and  a  falsehood. 

What  was  the  '  cause '  for  which  Sprot  forged  ? 
It  was  a  purpose  to  blackmail,  not  Logan,  but 
Logan's  heirs  or  executors,  one  of  whom  was  Lord 
Home.  If  Sprot  wanted  to  get  anything  out  of  them, 
he  could  terrify  them  by  threatening  to  show  the 
forged  Logan  letters,  as  genuine,  to  the  Government, 


so  securing  the  ruin  of  Logan's  heirs  by  forfeiture. 

o  o  «/ 

He  did  not  do  this  himself,  but  he  gave  forged  letters, 
for  money,  to  men  who  were  in  debt  to  the  dead 
Logan's  estate,  and  who  might  use  the  letters  to 

o  o 

extort  remission  of  what  they  owed. 

On  July  15,  Sprot  was  examined  before  Dunferm- 
line,  Dunbar,  Hart,  the  King's  Advocate  (Sir  Thomas 
Hamilton),  and  other  gentlemen.  He  said  that,  about 
July  6,  1600,  Logan  received  a  letter  from  Gowrie, 
which,  two  days  later,  Bower  showed  to  him  at  Fast- 
castle.  This  is  the  harmless  Gowrie  letter,  which 
Sprot  now  quoted  from  memory,  as  it  is  printed  in 
Hart's  official  account. 

Now  begins  a  new  puzzle,  caused  by  Sprot's 
dates.  Of  these  we  can  only  give  a  conjectural 
version,  for  the  sake  of  argument.  Logan  received 
a  letter  from  Gowrie  about  July  6,  1600.  He 
returned  a  reply,  by  Bower,  but  when  did  Bower 
start  with  the  reply  ?  Let  us  say  on  July  9.  Bower 
returned,  says  Sprot,  '  within  five  days,'  with  '  a 
new  letter '  from  Gowrie.  That  would  bring  us  to 
July  14,  but  in  Letters  I  and  II,  dated  July  18, 
Logan  is  informing  his  unknown  correspondent,  and 
Bower,  of  the  receipt  of  '  a  new  letter '  from  Gowrie. 
Why  inform  Bower  of  this,  if  Bower  was  the  bearer 
of  the  new  letter  ?  But  the  '  new  letter  '  mentioned 
in  Letters  I  and  II  was  brought  by  a  retainer  of 
Gowrie.  In  any  case,  supposing  byway  of  conjecture 
that  Bower  returned  from  Gowrie  about  July  15,  he 
spent  the  night,  says  Sprot,  with  Logan  at  Gunnis- 


green,  and  next  day  (July  16)  rode  to  Edinburgh 
with  Bower,  Boig  of  Lochend,  and  Matthew  Logan. 
In  Edinburgh  he  remained  '  a  certain  short  space/ 
say  four  days,  which  would  bring  us  to  July  20. 
Needless  to  say  that  this  does  not  fit  Letter  II, 
Logan  to  Bower,  July  18,  and  Letter  I,  Logan  to 
the  Unknown,  Fastcastle,  July  18. 

After  Logan's  return  from  Edinburgh  (which, 
according  to  Sprot,  seems  to  be  of  about  July  20) 
Sprot  heard  Logan  and  Bower  discuss  some  scheme 
by  which  Logan  should  get  Gowrie's  estate  of  Dirle- 
ton,  without  payment.  Bower  said  nothing  could  be 
done  till  Logan  rode  west  himself.  He  discouraged 
the  whole  affair,  but  Loi?an  said,  in  the  hearing  of 

o  o 

several  persons,  that  he  would  hazard  his  life  with 
Gowrie.  Lady  Eestalrig  blamed  Bower  for  making 
Logan  try  to  sell  the  lands  of  Fastcastle  (they  were 
not  sold  till  1602),  of  which  Bower  protested  his 
innocence.  This  was  after  Logan's  return  from 
Edinburgh  (say  July  20  ;  that  is,  say  five  days  after 
Logan's  return,  say  July  25).  Bower  and  Logan  had 
a  long  conference  in  the  open  air.  Sprot  was 
lounging  and  spying  about  beside  the  river ;  a  sea- 
fisher  had  taken  a  basket  of  blenneys,  or  'green- 
banes.'  Logan  called  to  Sprot  to  bring  him  the  fish, 
and  they  all  supped.  Before  supper,  however,  Sprot 
walked  about  with  Bower,  and  tried  to  '  pump  '  him 
as  to  what  was  going  forward.  Bower  said  that 
'the  Laird  should  get  Dirleton  without  either  gold 
or  silver,  but  he  feared  it  should  be  as  dear  to  him. 


They  had  another  pie  in  hand  than  the  selling  of 
land.'  Bower  then  asked  Sprot  not  to  meddle,  for 
he  feared  that  4  in  a  few  days  the  Laird  would  be 
either  landless  or  lifeless.' 

Certainly  this  is  a  vivid  description  ;  Bower  and 
Logan  were  sitting  on  a  bench  '  at  the  byre  end ; ' 
Sprot,  come  on  the  chance  of  a  supper,  was  peeping 
and  watching ;  Peter  Mason,  the  angler,  at  the  river 
side,  '  near  the  stepping  stones,'  had  his  basket  of 
blenneys  on  his  honest  back,  his  rod  or  net  in  his 
hand  ;  the  Laird  was  calling  for  the  fish,  was  taking 
a  drink,  and,  we  hope,  offering  a  drink  to  Mason. 
Then  followed  the  lounge  and  the  talk  with  Bower 
before  supper,  all  in  the  late  afternoon  of  a  July  day, 
the  yellow  light  sleeping  on  the  northern  sea  below. 
Vivid  this  is,  and  plausible,  but  is  it  true  ? 

We  have  reached  the  approximate  date  of  July  25 
(though,  of  course,  after  an  interval  of  eight  years, 
Sprot's  memory  of  dates  must  be  vague).  Next  day 
(July  26)  Logan,  with  Bower  and  others,  rode  to 
Nine  Wells  (where  David  Hume  the  philosopher  was 
born),  thence,  the  same  night,  back  to  Gunnisgreen, 
next  night,  July  27,  to  Fastcastle,  and  thence  to 
Edinburgh.  This  brings  us  (allowing  freely  for  error 
of  memory)  to  about  July  27,  '  the  hinder  end  of 
July,'  says  Sprot.  If  we  make  allowance  for  a 
vagueness  of  four  or  five  days,  this  does  not  fit  in 
badly.  Logan's  letter  to  Gowrie  (No.  IV),  which 
Sprot  finally  said  that  he  used  as  a  model  for  his 
forgeries,  is  dated  '  Gunnisgreen,  July  29.'  'At  the 

THE  LAIRD  AND  THE  NOTARY        191 

beginning  of  August,'  says  Sprot  (clearly  there  are 
four  or  five  days  lost  in  the  reckoning),  Logan  and 
Bower,  with  Matthew  Logan  and  Willie  Crockett, 
rode  to  Edinburgh,  '  and  there  stayed  three  days,  and 
the  Laird,  with  Matthew  Logan,  came  home,  and  Bower 
came  to  his  own  house  of  the  Brockholes,  where  he 
stayed  four  days,'  and  then  was  sent  for  by  Logan, 
'  and  the  Laird  was  very  sad  and  sorry,'  obviously 
because  of  the  failure  of  the  plot  on  August  5. 

How  do  these  dates  fit  into  the  narrative  ?  Logan 
was  at  Gunnisgreen  (his  letter  (IV)  proves  it)  on 
July  29.  (Later  we  show  another  error  of  Sprot's 
on  this  point.)  He  writes  that  he  is  sending  Bower 
as  bearer  of  his  letter  to  Gowrie.  If  Bower  left 
Edinburgh  on  July  30,  he  could  deliver  the  letter  to 
Gowrie,  at  Perth,  on  August  2,  and  be  back  in  Edin- 
burgh (whither  Logan  now  went)  on  August  5,  and 
Logan  could  leave  Edinburgh  on  August  6,  after 
hearing  of  the  deaths  of  his  fellow-conspirators.  We 
must  not  press  Sprot  too  hard  as  to  dates  so  remote 
in  time.  We  may  grant  that  Bower,  bearing  Logan's 
letter  of  July  29,  rode  with  Logan  and  the  others  to 
Edinburgh  ;  that  at  Edinburgh  Logan  awaited  his 
return,  with  a  reply ;  that  he  thence  learned  that 
August  5  was  the  day  for  the  enterprise,  and  that, 
early  on  August  6,  he  heard  of  its  failure,  and  rode 
sadly  home :  all  this  being  granted  for  the  sake  of 

Had  the  news  of  August  6  been  that  the  King 
had  mysteriously  disappeared,  we  may  conceive  that 


Logan  would  have  hurried  to  Dirleton,  met  the 
Buthvens  there,  with  their  prisoner,  and  sailed  with 
them  to  Fastcastle.  Or  he  might  have  made  direct 
to  Fastcastle,  and  welcomed  them  there.  His  reason 
for  being  at  Bestalrig  or  in  the  Canongate  was  to 
get  the  earliest  news  from  Perth,  brought  across 
Fife,  and  from  Bruntisland  to  Leith. 

Whether  correct  or  not,  this  scheme,  allowing  for 
lapse  of  memory  as  to  dates,  is  feasible.  Who  can, 
remote  from  any  documents,  remember  the  dates  of 
occurrences  all  through  a  month  now  distant  by 
eight  years  ?  There  were  no  daily  newspapers,  no 
ready  means  of  ascertaining  a  date.  Queen  Mary's 
accusers,  in  their  chronological  account  of  her  move- 
ments about  the  time  of  Darnley's  death,  are  often 
out  in  their  dates.  In  legal  documents  of  the  period 
the  date  of  the  day  of  the  month  of  an  event  is  often 
left  blank.  This  occurs  in  the  confirmation  of 
Logan's  own  will.  'He  died  —  July,  1606.'  When 
lawyers  with  plenty  of  leisure  for  inquiry  were  thus 
at  a  loss  for  dates  of  days  of  the  month  (having  since 
the  Reformation  no  Saints'  days  to  go  by),  Sprot,  in 
prison,  might  easily  go  wrong  in  his  chronology. 

In  any  case,  taking  Letter  IV  provisionally  as 
genuine  in  substance,  we  note  that,  on  July  29,  Logan 
did  not  yet  know  the  date  fixed  for  Gowrie's  enter- 
prise. He  suggested  '  the  beginning  of  harvest,'  and, 
by  August  5,  harvest  had  begun.  One  of  the  Perth 
witnesses  was  reaping  in  the  '  Morton  haugh,'  when 
he  heard  the  town  bell  call  the  citizens  to  arms.  But 

THE  LAIRD  AND  THE  NOTAEY        193 

Gowrie  must  have  acted  in  great  haste,  Logan  not 
knowing,  till,  say,  August  2  or  3,  the  date  of  a  plot 
that  exploded  on  August  5. 

Gowrie  may  have  thought,  as  Lord  Maxwell  said 
when  arranging  his  escape  from  Edinburgh  Castle, 
'Sic  interprysis  are  nocht  effectuat  with  delibera- 
tionis  and  advisments,  bot  with  suddane  resolu- 

It  is  very  important,  we  must  freely  admit,  as 
an  argument  against  the  theory  of  carrying  James  to 
Logan's  impregnable  keep  of  Fastcastle,  that  only 
one  question,  in  our  papers,  is  asked  as  to  the 
provisioning  of  Fastcastle,  and  that  merely  as  to  the 
supply  of  drink !  Possibly  this  had  been  ascer- 
tained in  Sprot's  earlier  and  unrecorded  examinations 
(April  19-July  5).  One  poor  hogshead  of  wine  (a 
trifle  to  Logan)  had  been  sent  in  that  summer  ; 
so  Matthew  Logan  deponed.  As  Logan  had  often 
used  Fastcastle  before,  for  treasonable  purposes, 
he  was  not  (it  may  be  supposed)  likely  to  leave  it 
without  provisions.  Moreover  these  could  be  brought 
by  sea,  from  Dirleton,  where  Carey  (August  11) 
says  that  Gowrie  had  stored  '  all  his  provision.' 
Moreover  Government  did  not  wish  to  prove  in- 
tent to  kidnap  the  King.  That  was  commonly 
regarded  as  a  harmless  constitutional  practice,  not 
justifying  the  slaughter  of  the  Euthvens.  From 
the  first,  Government  insisted  that  murder  was  in- 
tended. In  the  Latin  indictment  of  the  dead  Logan 
this  is  again  dwelt  on  ;  Fastcastle  is  only  to  be  the 



safe  haven  of  the  murderers.  This  is  a  misreading 
of  Letter  IV,  where  Fastcastle  is  merely  spoken  of 
as  to  be  used  for  a  meeting,  and  '  the  concluding 
of  our  plot.' 

Thus  it  cannot  be  concealed  that,  on  July  29 
(granting  Letter  IV  to  have  a  basis),  the  plot,  as 
far  as  Logan  knew,  was  '  in  the  air.'  If  Fastcastle 
was  to  be  used  by  the  conspirators,  it  must  have 
been  taken  in  the  rough,  on  the  chance  that  it 
was  provided,  or  that  Gowrie  could  bring  his  own 
supplies  from  Dirleton  by  sea.  This  extreme  vague- 
ness undeniably  throws  great  doubt  on  Logan's  part 
in  the  plot ;  Letter  IV,  if  genuine,  being  the  source 
of  our  perplexity.  But,  if  it  is  not  genuine,  that  is, 
in  substance,  there  is  only  rumour,  later  to  be  dis- 
cussed, to  hint  that  Logan  was  in  any  way  connected 
with  Gowrie. 

We  left  Bower  and  Logan  conversing  dolefully 
some  da}^s  after  the  failure  of  the  plot.  At  this  point 
the  perhaps  insuperable  difficulty  arises,  why  did 
they  not,  as  soon  as  they  returned  from  Edinburgh, 
destroy  every  inch  of  paper  connected  with  the  con- 
spiracy ?  One  letter  at  least  (Logan's  to  Gowrie, 
July  29)  was  not  burned,  according  to  Sprot,  but 
was  later  stolen  by  himself  from  Bower  ;  though  he 
reserved  this  confession  to  the  last  day  of  his  life  but 
two.  We  might  have  expected  Logan  to  take  the 
letter  from  Bower  as  soon  as  they  met,  and  to  burn 
or,  for  that  matter,  swallow  it  if  no  fire  was  con- 
venient !  Yet,  according  to  Sprot,  in  his  final  con- 


fession,  Logan  let  Bower  keep  the  damning  paper  for 
months.  If  this  be  true,  we  can  only  say  quos  Dem 
vult  perdere  prim  dementat.  People  do  keep  damning 
letters,  constant  experience  proves  the  fact. 

After  Bower  had  met  Logan  in  his  melancholy 
mood,  he  rode  away,  and  remained  absent  for  four 
days,  on  what  errand  Sprot  did  not  know,  and 
during  the  next  fortnight,  while  Scotland  was  ring- 
ing with  the  Gowrie  tragedy,  Sprot  saw  nothing  of 

Next,  Loo'an  went  to  church  at  Coldino-hame,  on 

O  O 

a  Sunday,  and  met  Bower  :  next  day  they  dined  to- 
gether at  Gunnisgreen.  Bower  was  gloomy.  Logan 
said,  '  Be  it  as  it  will,  I  must  take  my  fortune,  and 
I  will  tell  you,  Laird  Bower,  the  scaffold  is  the 
best  death  that  a  man  can  die.'  Logan,  if  he  said 
this,  must  have  been  drunk ;  he  very  often  was. 

It  was  at  this  point,  in  answer  to  a  question, 
that  Sprot  confessed  that  Logan's  letter  to  Bower 
(No.  II)  was  a  forgery  by  himself.  The  actual  letter, 
Sprot  said,  was  dictated  by  Logan  to  him,  and  he 
made  a  counterfeit  copy  in  imitation  of  Logan's 
handwriting.  We  have  stated  the  difficulties  in- 
volved .  in  this  obvious  falsehood.  Sprot  was  trying 
every  ruse  to  conceal  his  alleged  source  and  model, 
Letter  IV. 

Sprot  was  next  asked  about  a  certain  memoran- 
dum by  Logan  directed  to  Bower  and  to  one  John 
Bell,  in  1605.  This  document  was  actually  found  in 
Sprot's  c  pocquet '  when  he  was  arrested,  and  it  con- 

o  2 


tained  certain  very  compromising  items.  Sprot  re- 
plied that  lie  forged  the  memorandum,  in  the  autumn 
of  1606,  when  he  forged  the  other  letters.  He  copied 
most  of  it  from  an  actual  but  innocent  note  of 
Logan's  on  business  matters,  and  added  the  compro- 
mising items  out  of  his  own  invention.  He  made  three 
copies  of  this  forgery,  one  was  produced ;  he  gave 
another  to  a  man  named  Heddilstane  or  Heddilshaw, 
a  dweller  in  Berwick,  in  September  1607  ;  the  third, 
'  in  course  hand,'  he  gave  to  another  client,  '  the 
goodman  of  Eentoun,'  Hume.  One  was  to  be  used 
to  terrorise  Logan's  executors,  to  whom  Heddil- 
stane, but  not  Eentoun,  was  in  debt.  Sprot's  words 
are  important.  'He  omitted  nothing  that  was  in 
the  original'  (Logan's  memorandum  on  business 
matters), '  but  elicit '  (added)  '  two  articles  to  his  copy, 
the  one  concerning  Ninian  Chirnside '  (as  to  a 
dangerous  plot-letter  lost  by  Bower), '  the  other,  where 
the  Laird  ordered  Bower  to  tear  his  missive  letters. 
He  grants  that  he  wrote  another  copy  with  his  course 
hand,  copied  from  his  copy,  and  gave  it  to  the  good- 
man of  Eentoun,'  while  the  copy  given  to  Heddil- 
stane '  was  of  his  counterfeited  writing,'  an  imitation 
of  Logan's  hand. 

Perhaps  Sprot  had  two  methods  and  scales  of 
blackmail.  For  one,  he  invented  damning  facts,  and 
wrote  them  out  in  imitation  of  Logan's  writing.  The 
other  species  was  cheaper :  a  copy  in  his  '  course 
hand'  of  his  more  elaborate  forgeries  in  Logan's 
hand.  Now  the  two  copies  of  Letters  I  and  IV, 




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(Jauuary  1585-6) 

p.  196. 

THE  LAIRD  AND  THE  NOTARY        197 

which,  at  the  end  of  his  life,  as  we  shall  see,  Sprot 
attested  by  signed  endorsements,  were  in  his  '  course 
hand.'  He  had  them  ready  for  customers,  when  he 
was  arrested  in  April  1608,  and  they  were  doubt- 
less found  in  his  '  kist '  on  the  day  before  his  death, 
with  the  alleged  original  of  Letter  IV.  Up  to 
August  11,  at  a  certain  hour,  Government  had 
neither  the  alleged  original,  nor  Sprot's  '  course 
hand  copy  '  of  Letter  IV,  otherwise  he  would  not 
have  needed  to  quote  IV  from  memory,  as  he  did 
on  that  occasion. 

Among  these  minor  forgeries,  to  be  used  in 
blackmailing  operations,  was  a  letter  nominally  from 
Logan  to  one  Ninian  or  Eingan  Chirnside.  This  man 
was  a  member  of  the  family  of  Chirnside  of  Easter 
Chirnside  ;  his  own  estate  was  Whitsumlaws.  All 
these  Chirnsides  and  Humes  of  Berwickshire  were  a 
turbulent  and  lawless  gang,  true  borderers.  Ninian 
is  addressed,  by  Logan,  as  '  brother ; '  they  were 
most  intimate  friends.  It  was  Ninian  who  (as  the 
endorsement  shows)  produced  our  Letter  V,  on 
April  19  ;  he  had  purchased  it,  for  the  usual  ends, 
from  Sprot,  being  a  great  debtor  (as  Logan's  will 
proves)  to  his  estate. 

To  track  these  men  through  the  background  of 
history  is  to  have  a  notion  of  the  Day  of  Judgment. 
Old  forgotten  iniquities  and  adventures  leap  to  light. 
Chirnside,  like  Logan  and  the  Douglases  of  Whitt- 
ingham,  and  John  Colville,  and  the  Laird  of  Spot, 
had  followed  the  fortunes  of  wild  Frank  Stewart, 


Earl  of  Bothwell,  and  nephew  of  the  Bothwell  of 
Queen  Mary.  Frank  Bothwell  was  driven  into  his 
perilous  courses  by  a  charge  of  practising  witch- 
craft against  the  Kind's  life.  Absurd  as  this  sounds, 

~  o 

Bothwell  had  probably  tried  it  for  what  it  was  worth. 
When  he  was  ruined,  pursued,  driven,  child  of  the 
Kirk  as  he  seemed,  into  the  Catholic  faction,  his  old 
accomplice,  Colville,  took  a  solemn  farewell  of  him. 
'  By  me  your  lordship  was  cleared  of  the  odious  im- 
putation of  witchcraft  ....  but  God  only  knows 
how  far  I  hazarded  my  conscience  in  making  black 
white,  and  darkness  light  for  your  sake '  (Sep- 
tember 12,  1594).1 

After  Bothwell,  when  he  trapped  the  King  by  aid 
of  Lady  Gowrie  (July  1593),  recovered  power  for  a 
while,  he  defended  himself  on  this  charge  of  witch- 
craft. He  had  consulted  and  employed  the  wizard, 
Eichard  Graham,  who  now  accused  him  of  attempt- 
ing the  King's  life  by  sorcery.  But  he  had  only 
employed  Graham  to  heal  the  Earl  of  Angus,  himself 
dying  of  witchcraft.  Bothwell  was  charged  with 
employing  a  retainer,  Ninian  Chirnside,  to  arrange 
more  than  twenty-one  meetings  with  the  wizard 
Graham ;  the  result  being  the  procurement  of  a  poison, 
'  adder  skins,  toad  skins,  and  the  hippomanes  in  the 
brain  of  a  vouno*  foal.'  to  ooze  the  uiices  on  the 

«/  o  */ 

King,  '  a  poison  of  such  vehemency  as  should  have 
presently  cut  him  off.'  Isobel  Gowdie,  accused  of 
witchcraft  in  1622,  confessed  to  having  employed 

1  Hatfield  Calendar ',  iv.  659. 

THE  LAIRD  AND  THE  NOTARY        199 

a  similar  charm.1  All  this  Bothwell,  instructed  by 
Colville,  denied,  but  admitted  that  he  had  sent  Ninian 
Chirnside  twice  to  the  wizard,  all  in  the  interests  of 
the  dying  Earl  of  Angus.2 

This  Chirnside,  then,  was  a  borderer  prone  to 
desperate  enterprises  and  darkling  rides,  and  mid- 
night meetings  with  the  wizard  Graham  in  lonely 
shepherds'  cottages,  as  was  alleged.  He  could  also 
sink  to  blackmailing  the  orphan  child  of  his  '  brother,' 
Logan  of  Eestalrig. 

To  go  on  with  Sprot's  confessions ;  he  had  forged, 
he  said,  receipts  from  Logan  to  the  man  named 
Edward  or  Ned  Heddilstane  for  some  of  the  money 
which  Heddilstane  owed  him.  For  these  forgeries 
his  client  paid  him  well,  if  not  willingly.  Sprot 
frequently  blackmailed  Ned,  '  whenever  he  want 

It  must  be  granted  that  Sprot  was  a  liar  so  com- 
plex, and  a  forger  so  skilled  (for  the  time,  that  is),  that 
nothing  which  he  said  or  produced  can  be  reckoned, 
as  such,  as  evidence.  On  the  other  hand,  his  power  of 
describing  or  inventing  scenes,  real  or  fictitious,  was 
of  high  artistic  merit,  so  that  he  appears  occasionally 
either  to  deviate  into  truth,  or  to  have  been  a  real- 
istic novelist  born  centuries  too  early.  Why  then, 
it  may  be  asked,  do  we  doubt  that  Sprot  may  have 
forged,  without  a  genuine  model,  Letter  IV?  The 
answer  will  appear  in  due  time.  Letter  IV,  as  Sprot 
confessed,  is  certainly  the  model  of  all  the  letters 

1  Pitcairn,  iii.     Appendix  vii.  2  Border  Calendar,  i.  486,  487. 


which  he  forged,  whether  those  produced  or  those 
suppressed.  He  was  afraid  to  wander  from  his 
model,  which  he  repeated  in  Letters  I  (?),  Ill,  V, 
and  in  the  unproduced  letters,  including  one  which 
we  have  found  in  twelve  torn  fragments,  with  the 
signature  missing. 




ON  July  16,  Sprot  was  again  examined.  Spottis- 
woode,  Archbishop  of  Glasgow,  the  historian,  was 
present,  on  this  occasion  only,  with  Dunfermline, 
Dunbar,  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton,  Hart,  and  other 
nobles  and  officials.  None  of  them  signs  the  record, 
which,  in  this  case  only,  is  merely  attested  by  the 
signature  of  Primrose,  the  Clerk  of  Council,  one  of 
Lord  Eosebery's  family.  In  this  session  Sprot  said 
nothing  about  forging  the  letters.  The  Archbishop 
was  not  to  know. 

Asked  if  he  had  any  more  reminiscences,  Sprot 
said  that,  in  November  1602,  Fastcastle  having  been 
sold,  Logan  asked  Bower  '  for  God's  sake '  to  bring 
him  any  of  the  letters  about  the  Gowrie  affair  which 
he  might  have  in  keeping.  Bower  said  that  he  had 
no  dangerous  papers  except  one  letter  from  Alex- 
ander Euthven,  and  another  from  '  Mr.  Andro  Clerk.' 
This  Clerk  was  a  Jesuit,  who  chiefly  dealt  between 
Spain  and  the  Scotch  Catholics.  He  was  involved 
in  the  affair  called  '  The  Spanish  Blanks'  (1593),  and 
visited  the  rebel  Catholic  peers  of  the  North,  Angus, 


Errol,  and  Huntly.1  Logan,  like  Bothwell,  was 
ready  to  intrigue  either  with  the  Kirk  or  the  Jesuits, 
and  he  seems  to  have  had  some  personal  acquaintance 
with  Father  Andrew. 

Bower  left  Logan,  to  look  for  these  letters  at  his 
own  house  at  Brockholes,  and  Logan  passed  a  night 
of  sleepless  anxiety.  One  of  the  mysteries  of  the 
case  is  that  Logan  entrusted  Bower,  who  could  not 
read,  with  all  his  papers.  If  one  of  them  was  needed, 
Bower  had  to  employ  a  person  who  could  read  to 
find  it :  probably  he  used,  as  a  rule,  the  help  of  his 
better  educated  son,  Valentine.  After  Logan's  rest- 
less night,  Bower  returned  with  the  two  letters, 
Euthven's  and  Clerk's,  which  Logan  '  burned  in  the 

(Let  it  be  remembered  that  Sprot  has  not  yet 
introduced  Letter  IV  into  his  depositions,  though 
that  was  by  far  the  most  important.) 

After    burning    Clerk's    and    Euthven's   letters, 


Logan  dictated  to  Sprot  a  letter  to  John  Baillie  of 
Littlegill,  informing  him  of  the  fact.  Bower  rode 
off  with  the  letter,  and  Logan  bade  Sprot  be  silent 
about  all  these  things,  for  he  had  learned,  from 
Bower,  that  Sprot  knew  a  good  deal.  Here  the 
amat  ;ur  of  the  art  of  fiction  asks,  why  did  Sprot 
drag  in  Mr.  John  Baillie  of  Littlegill  ?  If  Logan,  as 
Sprot  swore,  informed  Baillie  about  the  burned 
letters,  then  Baillie  had  a  guilty  knowledge  of  the 
conspiracy.  Poor  Baillie  was  instantly  '  put  in  ward  ' 

1  Thorpe,  ii.  614,  616,  617.     Border  Calendar,  i.  457. 




,-    ir,.^ 




Hp*~       /C  — T 






h!  / 


(Second  page  of  Letter  I  V) 

p.  202. 


under  the  charge  of  the  Earl  of  Dunfermline.  But, 
011  the  day  after  Sprot  was  hanged,  namely  on 
August  13,  Baillie  was  set  free,  on  bail  of  10,000 
marks  to  appear  before  the  Privy  Council  if  called 
upon.  Three  of  Sprot's  other  victims,  Maul,  Crock- 
ett, and  William  Galloway,  were  set  free  on  their 
personal  recognisances,  but  Mossman  and  Matthew 
Logan  were  kept  in  prison,  and  Chirnside  was  not 
out  of  danger  of  the  law  for  several  years,  as  we 
learn  from  the  Privy  Council  Eegister.  Nothing 
was  ever  proved  against  any  of  these  men.  After 
the  posthumous  trial  of  Logan  (June  1609)  the  King- 
bade  the  Council  discharge  John  Baillie  from  his 
bail,  '  as  we  rest  now  fully  persuaded  that  there  was 
no  just  cause  of  imputation  against  the  said  John.' 
So  the  Eeaister  of  the  Privy  Council  informs  us.1 

**—;  \J 

Thus,  if  Sprot  told  the  truth  about  all  these  men, 
no  corroborative  facts  were  discovered,  while  the 
only  proofs  of  his  charges  against  Logan  were  the 
papers  which,  with  one  exception,  he  confessed  to 
be  forgeries,  executed  by  himself,  for  purposes  of 

To  ^o  on  with  his   confessions :    The  Christmas 


of  1602  arrived,  and  '  The  Laird  keepit  ane  great 
Yule  at  Gunnisgreen.'  On  the  third  day  of  the 
feast,  Logan  openly  said  to  Bower,  at  table,  '  I  shall 
sleep  better  this  night  than  that  night  when  I  sent 
you  for  the  letters  '  (in  November),  '  for  now  I  am 
sure  that  none  of  these  matters  will  ever  come  to 

1  Privy  Council  Eegister,  viii.  150-2,  605. 


further  light,  if  you  be  true.'  Bower  answered, 
'  I  protest  before  God  I  shall  be  counted  the  most 
damnable  traitor  in  the  world,  if  any  man  on  earth 
know,  for  I  have  buried  them.' 

After  supper,  Bower  and  Logan  called  Sprot  out 
on  to  the  open  hill-side.  Logan  said  that  Bower 
confessed  to  having  shown  Sprot  a  letter  of  Gowrie's. 
What,  he  asked,  did  Sprot  think  of  the  matter  ? 
Sprot,  with  protestations  of  loyalty,  said  that  he 
thought  that  Logan  had  been  in  the  Gowrie  con- 

o  O 

spiracy.  Logan  then  asked  for  an  oath  of  secrecy, 
promising  '  to  be  the  best  sight  you  ever  saw,'  and 
taking  out  121.  (Scots)  bade  Sprot  buy  corn  for  his 
children.  Asked  who  were  present  at  the  scene  of  the 
supper,  Sprot  named  eight  yeomen.  '  The  lady '  (Lady 
Eestalrig)  '  was  also  present  at  table  that  night,  and 
at  her  rising  she  said,  "  The  Devil  delight  in  such  a 
feast,  that  will  make  all  the  children  weep  hereafter," 
and  this  she  spoke,  as  she  went  past  the  end  of  the 
table.  And,  after  entering  the  other  chamber,  she 
wept  a  while,  '  and  we  saw  her  going  up  and  down  the 
chamber  weeping.' 

A  fortnight  later,  Lady  Eestalrig  blamed  Bower 
for  the  selling  of  Fastcastle.  Bower  appealed  to 
Logan ;  it  was  Logan's  fault,  not  his.  '  One  of  two 
things,'  said  Bower,  '  must  make  you  sell  your  lands  ; 
either  you  think  your  children  are  bastards,  or  you 
have  planned  some  treason.'  The  children  were  not 
those  of  Lady  Eestalrig,  but  by  former  marriages. 
Logan  replied,  '  If  I  had  all  the  land  between  the 


Orient  and  the  Occident,  I  would  sell  the  same,  and, 
if  I  could  not  get  money  for  it,  I  would  give  it  to  good 
fellows.'  On  another  occasion  Logan  said  to  Bower, 
'  I  am  for  no  land,  I  told  you  before  and  will  tell  you 
again.  You  have  not  learned  the  art  of  memory.' 

In  fact,  Logan  did  sell,  not  only  Fastcastle,  but 
Flemington  and  Eestalrig.  We  know  how  the  Scot 
then  clung  to  his  acres.  Why  did  Logan  sell  all  ? 
It  does  not  appear,  as  we  have  shown,  that  he  was  in 
debt.  If  he  had  been,  his  creditors  would  have  had 
him  '  put  to  the  horn,'  proclaimed  a  recalcitrant 
debtor,  and  the  record  thereof  would  be  found  in  the 
Privy  Council  Eegister.  But  there  is  no  such  matter. 
Sprot  supposed  that  Logan  wished  to  turn  his  estates 
into  money,  to  be  ready  for  flight,  if  the  truth  ever 
came  out.  The  haste  to  sell  all  his  lands  is  certainly 
a  suspicious  point  against  Logan.  He  kept  on  giving 
Sprot  money  (hush  money,  and  for  forgeries  to 
defraud  others,  sometimes)  and  taking  Sprot's  oath  of 

A  remarkable  anecdote  follows ;  remarkable  on 
this  account.  In  the  letter  (II)  which  Logan  is  said 
by  Sprot  to  have  written  to  Bower  (July  18,  1600) 
occurs  the  phrase,  '  Keep  all  things  very  secret,  that 
my  lord  my  brother  get  no  knowledge  of  our  purposes, 
for  I  rather  be  eirdit  quik ' — would  rather  be  buried 
alive  (p.  184).  This  '  my  lord  my  brother '  is  obviously 
meant  for  Alexander,  sixth  Lord  Home,  whose  father, 
the  fifth  lord,  had  married  Agnes,  sister  of  Patrick, 
sixth  Lord  Gray,  and  widow  of  Sir  Eobert  Logan  of 


Eestalrig.  By  Sir  Eobert,  Lady  Eestalrig  had  a  son, 
the  Loo'an  of  this  affair  ;  and,  when,  after  Sir  Eobert's 


death,  she  married  the  fifth  Lord  Home,  she  had  to 
him  a  son,  Alexander,  sixth  Lord  Home.  Our  Logan 
and  the  sixth  Lord  Home  were,  therefore,  brothers 

Now,  if  we  accept  as  genuine  (in  substance)  the 
one  letter  which  Sprot  declared  to  be  really  written 
by  Logan  (No.  IV),  Gowrie  was  anxious  that  Home, 
a  person  of  great  importance,  Warden  on  the  Border, 
should  be  initiated  into  the  conspiracy.  As  Gowrie 
had  been  absent  from  Scotland,  between  August  1594 
(when  he,  as  a  lad,  was  in  league  with  the  wild  king- 
catcher,  Francis  Stewart  of  Bothwell),  and  May  1600, 
we  ask,  what  did  Gowrie  know  of  Home,  and  why 
did  he  think  him  an  useful  recruit  ?  The  answer  is 
that  (as  we  showed  in  another  connection,  p.  130) 
Gowrie  was  in  Paris  in  February- April  1600,  that 
Home  was  also  in  Paris  at  the  same  time  (arriv- 
ing in  Scotland,  at  his  house  of  Douglas,  April  18, 
1600),  and  that  Home  did  not  go  to  Court,  on  his 
return,  owing  to  the  King's  displeasure  because  of 
his  '  try  sting 'with  Bothwell'  in  Brussels.2 

Here  then  we  have,  in  March  1600,  Gowrie  and 
Home,  in  Paris,  and  Bothwell,  the  King-catcher, 
meeting  Home  in  Brussels.  Therefore,  when  Letter 
IV  represents  Gowrie  as  anxious  to  bring  Home, 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  287,  n  2. 

2  Neville  to  Cecil,  Paris,  Feb.   27,  1600.     Willoughby  to    Cecil, 
Berwick,  April  22,   1600.      Winwood  Memorials,  p.   166.     Border 
Calendar,  ii.  645. 


who  had  been  consulting  Bothwell,  into  his  plot, 
nothing  can  be  more  natural.  Gowrie  himself 
conceivably  met  his  old  rebellious  ally,  Bothwell ; 
he  was  certain  to  meet  Home  in  Paris,  and  Home, 
owning  Douglas  Castle  and  Home  Castle  near  the 
Border,  would  have  been  a  most  serviceable  assistant. 
It  must  also  be  remembered  that  Home  was,  at  heart, 
a  Catholic,  a  recent  and  reluctant  Protestant  convert, 
6  compelled  to  come  in,'  by  the  Kirk.  Bothwell  was 
a  Catholic ;  Gowrie,  he  declared,  was  another ;  Logan 
was  a  trafficker  with  Jesuits,  and  an  '  idolater '  in 
the  matter  of  '  keeping  great  Yules.'  Logan,  how- 
ever, if  Letter  IV  is  genuine,  in  substance,  wrote 
that  he  '  utterly  dissented  '  from  Gowrie's  opinion. 
He  would  not  try  his  brother's,  Home's,  mind  in 
the  matter,  or  '  consent  that  he  ever  should  be 
counsellor  thereto,  for,  in  good  faith,  he  will  never 
help  his  friend,  nor  harm  his  foe.' 

Such  being  the  relations  (if  we  accept  Letter  IV 
as  in  substance  genuine)  between  Gowrie,  Home,  and 
Logan,  we  can  appreciate  Sprot's  anecdote,  now  to 
be  given,  concerning  Lady  Home.  Logan,  -according 
to  Sprot,  said  to  him,  in  Edinburgh,  early  in  1602, 
6  Thou  rememberest  what  my  Lady  Home  said  to  me, 
when  she  would  not  suffer  my  lord  to  subscribe  my 
contract  for  Fentoun,  because  I  would  not  allow  two 
thousand  marks  to  be  kept  out  of  the  security,  and 
take  her  word  for  them  ?  She  said  to  me,  which  was 
a  great  knell  to  my  heart,  that  since  her  coming  to  the 
town,  she  knew  that  I  had  been  in  some  dealing  with 


the  Earl  of  Gowrie  about  Dirleton.'  Now  Dirleton, 
according  to  Sprot,  was  to  have  been  Logan's  pay- 
ment from  Gowrie,  for  his  aid  in  the  plot. 

Logan  then  asked  Sprot  if  he  had  blabbed  to 
Lady  Home,  but  Sprot  replied  that  '  he  had  never 
spoken  to  her  Ladyship  but  that  same  day,  although 
he  had  read  the  contract '  (as  to  Fentoun)  '  before 
him  and  her  in  the  abbey.'  of  Coldingham,  probably. 
Logan  then  requested  Sprot  to  keep  out  of  Lady 
Home's  sight,  lest  she  should  ask  questions,  'for  I 
had  rather  be  eirdit  quick  than  either  my  Lord  or  she 
knew  anything  of  it! 

Now,  in  Letter  II  (July  18,  1600),  from  Logan  to 
Bower,  Logan,  as  we  saw,  is  made  to  write,  '  See 
that  my  Lord,  my  brother,  gets  no  knowledge  of  our 
purposes,  for  I  (sic)  rather  be  eirdit  quik'  The  phrase 
recurs  in  another  of  the  forged  letters  not  produced 
in  court. 

It  is  thus  a  probable  inference  that  Logan  did  use 
this  expression  to  Sprot,  in  describing  the  conversa- 
tion about  Lady  Home,  and  that  Sprot  inserted  it 
into  his  forged  Letter  II  (Logan  to  Bower).  But, 
clever  as  Sprot  was,  he  is  scarcely  likely  to  have 
invented  the  conversation  of  Logan  with  Lady  Home, 
arising  out  of  Logan's  attempt  to  do  some  business 
with  Lord  Home  about  Fentoun.  A  difficulty,  raised 
by  Lady  Home,  led  up  to  the  lady's  allusion  to 
Dirleton,  c  which  was  a  great  knell  to  my  heart,'  said 
Logan.  This  is  one  of  the  passages  which  indicate 
a  basis  of  truth  in  the  confessions  of  Sprot.  Again, 


as  Home  and  Gowrie  were  in  Paris  together,  while 
Bothwell  was  in  Brussels,  in  February  1600,  and  as 
Home  certainly,  and  Gowrie  conceivably,  met  Both- 
well,  it  may  well  have  been  that  Gowrie  heard  of 
Logan  from  Bothwell,  the  old  ally  of  both,  and  marked 
him  as  a '  useful  hand.  Moreover,  he  could  not  but 
have  heard  of  Logan's  qualities  and  his  keep,  Fast- 
castle,  in  the  troubles  and  conspiracies  of  1592-1594. 

After  making  these  depositions,  Sprot  attested 
them,  with  phrases  of  awful  solemnity,  '  were  I  pre- 
sently within  one  hour  to  die.'  He  especially  insisted 
that  he  had  written,  to  Logan's  dictation,  the  letter 
informing  John  Baillie  of  Littlegill  that  all  Gowrie's 
papers  were  burned.  As  we  saw,  in  November  1609, 
the  King  deliberately  cleared  Baillie  of  all  suspicion. 
There  could  be  no  evidence.  Bower,  the  messenger, 
was  dead. 

Baillie  was  now  called.  He  denied  on  oath  that 
he  had  ever  received  the  letter  from  Logan.  He  had 
never  seen  Gowrie,  '  except  on  the  day  he  came  first 
home,  and  rode  up  the  street  of  Edinburgh.'  Con- 
fronted with  Baillie, '  Sprot  abides  by  his  deposition.' 

Willie  Crockett  was  then  called.  He  had  been  at 
Logan's  '  great  Yule '  in  Gunnisgreen,  where  Logan, 
according  to  Sprot,  made  the  imprudent  speeches. 
Crockett  had  also  been  at  Dundee  with  Logan,  he 
said,  but  it  was  in  the  summer  of  1603.  He 
did  not  hear  Logan's  imprudent  speech  to  Bower, 
at  the  Yule  supper.  As  to  the  weeping  of  Lady 
Eestalrig,  he  had  often  seen  her  weep,  and  heard  her 



declare  that  Logan  would  ruin  his  family.  He  only 
remembered,  as  to  the  Yule  supper,  a  quarrel  be- 
tween Loiran  and  Willie  Home. 


This  was  the  only  examination  at  which  Arch- 
bishop Spottiswoode  attended.  Neither  he  nor  any 
of  the  Lords  (as  we  have  said  already)  signed  the 
record,  which  is  attested  only  by  James  Primrose, 
Clerk  of  Council,  signing  at  the  foot  of  each  page. 
Had  the  Lords  '  quitted  the  diet '  ? 

The  next  examination  was  held  on  July  22,  Dun- 
fermline,  Dunbar,  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton,  the  President 
of  the  Court  of  Session,  and  other  officials,  all  lay- 
men, being  present.  Sprot  incidentally  remarked  that 
Logan  visited  London,  in  1603,  after  King  James 
ascended  the  English  throne.  Logan  appears  to  have 
gone  merely  for  pleasure  ;  he  had  seen  London  before, 
in  the  winter  of  1586.  On  his  return  he  said  that 
he  would  '  never  bestow  a  groat  on  such  vanities  ' 
as  the  celebration  of  the  King's  holiday,  August  5, 
the  anniversary  of  the  Gowrie  tragedy ;  adding 
'  when  the  King  has  cut  off  all  the  noblemen  of  the 
country  he  will  live  at  ease.'  But  many  citizens 
disliked  the  5th  of  August  holiday  as  much  as  Logan 

In  the  autumn  of  1605,  Logan  again  visited  Lon- 
don. In  Sprot's  account  of  his  revels  there,  and  his 
bad  reception,  we  have  either  proof  of  Logan's  guilt, 
if  the  tale  be  true,  or  high  testimony  to  Sprot's  powers 
as  an  artist  in  fiction.  He  says  that  Matthew  Logan 
accompanied  the  Laird  to  town  in  September  1605,  and 


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(July  5,  1COS) 

p.  210. 


in  November  was  sent  back  with  letters  to  Bower. 
Eight  days  later,  Matthew  took  Sprot  to  Coldingham, 
to  meet  Bower,  and  get  his  answer  to  the  letters.  It 
was  a  Sunday ;  these  devotees  heard  sermon,  and 
then  dined  together  at  John  Corsar's.  After  dinner 
Bower  took  Sprot  apart,  and  showed  him  two  letters. 
Would  Sprot  read  to  him  the  first  few  words,  that  he 
might  know  which  letter  he  had  to  answer  ?  The 
first  letter  shown  (so  Sprot  writes  on  the  margin  of 
his  recorded  deposition)  referred  to  the  money  owed 
to  Logan,  by  the  Earl  of  Dunbar,  for  Gunnisgreen 
and  the  lands  of  Flemington.  Logan  had  expected 
to  get  the  purchase  money  from  Dunbar  in  London ; 
he  never  got  more  than  18,000  out  of  33,000  marks. 
Sprot  wrote  for  Bower  the  answer  to  this  business 
letter,  and  gave  it  to  Matthew  Logan  to  be  sent  to 
Logan  in  London.  Matthew,  being  interrogated, 
denied  that  he  sent  any  letter  back  to  Logan,  though 
he  owned  that  Sprot  wrote  one ;  and  he  denied  that 
Sprot  and  Bower  had  any  conference  at  all  on  the 
occasion.  But  Sprot  had  asserted  that  the  conference 
with  Bower  occurred  after  Matthew  Logan  left  them 
at  Corsar's  house,  where  they  dined,  as  Matthew  ad- 
mitted, after  sermon.  Matthew  denied  too  much. 

A  curious  conference  it  was.  Bower  asked  Sprot 
to  read  to  him  the  other  of  Logan's  two  letters, 
directed  to  himself.  It  ran,  '  Laird  Bower, — I  wot 
not  what  I  should  say  or  think  of  this  world !  It  is 
very  hard  to  trust  in  any  man,  for  apparently  there 
is  no  constancy  or  faithfulness.  For  since  I  cam 


here  they  whom  I  thought  to  have  been  my  most 
entire  friends  have  uttered  to  me  most  injurie,  and 
have  given  me  the  defiance,  and  say  I  am  not  worthy 
to  live,  u  and  if  the  King  heard  what  has  moved  you 
to  put  away  all  your  lands,  and  debosch  yourself,  you 
would  not  make  such  merryness,  and  play  the  com- 
panion in  London,  as  you  do  so  near  his  Majestie." 

Logan  went  on  to  express  his  fear  that  Bower's  rash 
speeches  had  roused  these  suspicions  of  '  the  auld 
misterie  ye  ken  of.'  '  God  forgive  you,  but  I  have 
had  no  rest  since  these  speeches  were  upcast  to  me/ 
Bower  was  to  take  o-reat  care  of  this  letter,  '  for  it 


is  within  three  letters  enclosed,'  and  is  confided  to 
Matthew  Logan  (who  travelled  by  sea)  as  a  trusty 

Bower  was  much  moved  by  this  melancholy 
letter,  and  denied  that  he  had  been  gossiping.  He  had 
twice,  before  Logan  rode  south,  advised  him  to  be  very 
careful  never  even  to  mention  the  name  of  Gowrie. 

Sprot  said  that  he,  too,  was  uneasy,  for,  if  any- 
thing came  out,  he  himself  was  in  evil  case.  Lo^an 

o  o 

visited  France,  as  well  as  London,  at  this  time  ;  he 
returned  home  in  the  spring  of  1606,  but  Bower 
expressed  the  belief  that  he  would  go  on  to  Spain, 
k  to  meet  Bothwell  and  Father  Andrew  Clerk,  and 
if  he  come  home  it  will  be  rather  to  die  in  his 
own  country  than  for  any  pleasure  he  has  to  live.' 
Bothwell  and  Father  Andrew,  of  course,  were  both 
Catholic  intriguers,  among  whom  Bothwell  reckoned 
Logan  and  Gowrie. 


Now  the  letter  to  Bower  here  attributed  to  Logan, 
telling  of  the  new  '  knell  at  his  heart '  when  he  is 
rebuked  and  insulted  as  he  plays  the  merry  com- 
panion in  London,  and  near  the  Court ;  his  touching 
complaint  of  the  falseness  of  the  world  (he  himself 
being  certainly  the  blackest  of  traitors),  with  the 
distress  of  Bovver,  do  make  up  a  very  natural  de- 
scription. The  ghost  of  his  guilt  haunts  Logan,  he 
cannot  drown  it  in  a  red  sea  of  burgundy :  life  has 
lost  its  flavour  ;  if  he  returns,  it  will  be  with  the  true 
Scottish  desire  to  die  in  his  own  country,  though  of 
his  ancient  family's  lands  he  has  not  kept  an  acre. 
Pleasant  rich  Eestalrig,  strong  Fastcastle,  jolly  Gun- 
nisgreen  of  the  '  great  Yules,'  all  are  gone.  Nothing 
is  left. 

Surely,  if  Sprot  invented  all  this,  he  was  a 
novelist  born  out  of  due  time.  Either  he  told  truth, 
or,  in  fiction,  he  rivalled  De  Foe. 

Matthew  Logan,  being  called,  contradicted  Sprot, 
as  we  have  already  said.  He  himself  had  seen  Bower 
when  he  brought  him  Logan's  letter  from  London, 
take  his  son,  Valentine,  apart,  and  knew  that  Valen- 
tine read  a  letter  to  him.  '  It  was  a  meikle  letter,' 
Matthew  said,  and,  if  Sprot  tell  truth,  it  contained 
three  enclosures.  Bower  may  have  stopped  his  son 
from  reading  the  melancholy  and  compromising 
epistle,  and  kept  it  to  be  read  by  Sprot.  Logan's 
folly  in  writing  at  all  was  the  madness  that  has 
ruined  so  many  men  and  women. 

Matthew  could  not   remember  having  ridden  to 


Edinburgh  with  Logan  in  July  1600,  just  before  the 
Gowrie  affair,  as  Sprot  had  declared  that  he  did. 
We  could  scarcely  expect  him  to  remember  that. 
He  could  remember  nothing  at  all  that  was  compro- 
mising, nothing  of  Logan's  rash  speeches.  As  to  the 
Yule  feast  at  Gunnisgreen,  he  averred  that  Lady 
Eestalrig  only  said,  '  The  Devil  delight  in  such  a 
feast  that  makes  discord,  and  makes  the  house  ado ' 
-that  is,  gives  trouble.  Asked  if  wine  and  beer 
were  stored  in  Fastcastle,  in  1600,  he  said,  as  has 
already  been  stated,  that  a  hogshead  of  wine  was 
therein.  He  himself,  he  said,  had  been  '  in  the  west,' 
at  the  time  of  the  Gowrie  tragedy,  and  first  heard  of 
it  at  Falkirk. 

On  August  6,  Sprot  was  interrogated  again. 
Only  lay  lords  were  present :  there  were  no  clergy- 
men nor  lawyers.  He  denied  that  he  had  received 
any  promise  of  life  or  reward.  He  asked  to  be 
confronted  with  Matthew  Logan,  and  reported  a  con- 
versation between  them,  held  when  Lord  Dunbar  took 
possession  of  Gunnisgreen.  Matthew  then  hoped  to 
ride  with  the  Laird  to  London  (1605),  but  said,  'Alas, 
Geordie  Sprot,  what  shall  we  all  do  now,  now 
nothing  is  left  ?  I  was  aye  feared  for  it,  for  I  know 
the  Laird  has  done  some  evil  turn,  and  he  will  not 
bide  in  the  country,  and  woe's  me  therefor.' 

Sprot  asked  what  the  '  evil  turn '  was.  Matthew 
answered,  '  I  know  well  enough,  but,  as  the  proverb 
goes,  "  what  lies  not  in  my  way  breaks  not  my 
shins."  ' 


Sprot  added  that,  after  Bower's  death  (January 
1606),  Logan  wrote  to  him  from  London,  not  having 
heard  the  news  of  his  decease.  Lady  Eestalrig 
opened  the  letter  and  wrote  a  postscript  '  Give  this  to 
Laird  Bower,  for  I  trow  that  he  be  ridden  to  Hell,  as 
he  oft  times  said  to  the  Laird  that  he  would  do.'  In 
Letter  IV.  Logan  tells  Gowrie  that  he  believes  Bower 
4  would  ride  to  Hell's  gate  to  pleasure  him.' 

Sprot  was  now  asked  about  two  letters.  One  of 
these  (Logan  to  Chirnside)  is  endorsed,  'Production 
by  Niniane  Chirnesyde.  XIII  April  1608.'  Another 
is  Letter  Y,  endorsed  'produced  by  Ninian  Chirn- 
side,' a  fact  first  noted  by  Mr.  Anderson.  Yet  another 
is  the  letter  in  twelve  torn  pieces.  Logan,  in  the 
first  of  these  three  letters,  requests  Chirnside  to  find 
a  letter  which  Bower  lost  in  Dunglas.  The  letter 
imperils  Logan's  life  and  lands.  The  date  is  Septem- 
ber 23,  and  purports,  falsely,  to  be  written  before 
Logan  goes  to  London  (1605).  Sprot  explained  that 
he  forged  the  letters,  that  Chirnside  might  blackmail 
Logan's  executors,  and  make  them  forgive  him  the 
debts  which  (as  Logan's  will  proves)  he  owed  to  the 

Here  we  cite  the  letter  of  the  twelve  fragments. 
It  is,  of  course,  a  forgery  by  Sprot,  to  enable  Chirn- 
side to  terrorise  his  creditors,  Logan's  executors. 
But,  as  it  directly  implicates  Chirnside  himself  in 
the  Gowrie  conspiracy,  probably  he  disliked  it,  and 
tore  it  up.  Yet  the  artist  could  not  part  with  his 
work ;  it  still  lies,  now  reconstructed,  in  the  old 


folio  sheet  of  paper.  The  reader  will  remark  that, 
like  Letters  I  (?),  Ill,  and  V,  this  torn  letter  is  a  mere 
pastiche  framed  (as  Sprot  confessed)  on  ideas  and 
expressions  in  Letter  IV. 

Letter  found  among  the  Haddington  MSS.  torn  into 
thirteen  pieces  (one  lost)-  -these  have  been  placed  in 
order,  but  at  Least  one  line  of  the  piece  is  wanting. 

Brother,  according  to  my  promise  the  last  da}7 
ve  met  in  the  kannogate  I  have  sent  this  berair  to 
my  lord  vith  my  answer  of  all  thingis,  and,  I  pray 
you  ryde  vith  him  till  his  lordschip,  and  bevar  that 
he  speik  vith  na  other  person  bot  his  lordschipis  self 
and  M.A.  his  lordschipis  brother,  and  specially  let 
nocht  his  lordschipis  pedagog  [Mr.  Ehynd]  ken  ony 
thing  of  the  matter,  bot  forder  him  hame  agane, 
becawse  the  purpos  is  parilouse,  as  ye  knaw  the 
danger.  And  yit  for  my  ain  part  I  protest  befoir 
God  I  sail  keip  trew  condicion  till  his  lordschip,  and 
sail  hasard  albeit  it  var  to  the  vary  skafald,  and 
bid  his  lordschip  tak  nane  other  opinion  bot  gude 
of  the  trustyness  of  this  silly  aid  man  [Bower]  for 
I  dar  baldlie  concredit  my  lyf  and  all  other  thing  I 
have  elliss  in  this  varld  onto  his  credit,  and  I  trow 
he  sail  nocht  frustrat  my  gude  expectacion.  Burn 
or  send  bak  agane  as  I  did  vith  you,  so  till  meit- 
ting,  and  ever  I  rest,  Yowre  brother  to  power  redy, 

Beseik  his  lordschip  bavar  [beware]  that  my 
lord  my  brother  [Lord  Home]  get  na  intelligense 


of    thir  towrnis  as  he  lowfis  all  owr  veillis,  for  be 
God  he  vill  be  our  greittest  enemy.1 

(A  line  or  more  wanting) 

On  the  same  day  (August  6)  Sprot  withdrew  a 
deposition  (made  before  July  5)  that  the  Unknown, 
for  whom  Letters  I,  III,  V  were  meant,  was  the 
Laird  of  Kinfauns,  Sir  Harry  Lindsay,  who,  in  1603, 
tried  to  shoot  Patrick  Eviot,  one  of  the  Gowrie 
fugitives.  The  Constable  of  Dundee  (Sir  James 
Scrymgeour)  Sprot  had  also  accused  falsely.  The 
Letters  (I  (?),  Ill,  Y),he  says,  were  'imagined  by  me.' 

On  August  8,  three  ministers,  Patrick  Galloway, 
John  Hall,  and  Peter  Hewatt,  were  present.  The  two 
former  were  now  preachers  of  the  courtly  party,  the 
third  received  a  pension  of  500  marks  from  the  King, 
after  the  posthumous  trial  of  Logan  (1609),  at  which 
the  five  letters  were  produced,  but  this  reward  may 
have  been  a  mere  coincidence.  The  ministers  Hall 
and  Hewatt,  in  August  1600,  had  at  first,  as  we  saw, 
declined  to  accept  James's  version  of  the  affair  at 
Gowrie  House  (pp.  99-103). 

Sprot  now  confesses  that  he  knows  he  is  to  die, 
deposes  that  no  man  has  promised  him  life,  and  that 
he  has  stated  nothing  in  hope  of  life.  With  tears 
he  deplores  that  he  has  taken  God's  name  in  vain,  in 
swearing  to  the  truth  of  his  depositions  before  that 
of  July  5.  His  last  five  depositions  under  examina- 
tion are  '  true  in  all  points  and  circumstances,  and  he 
will  go  to  the  death  with  the  same.' 

1  The  peculiarities  of  spelling  are  those  recognised  as  Logan's,  and 
easily  imitated  by  the  forger. 


4  Further  the  said  George  Sprot  remembers  that 
in  the  summertide  of  1601,  the  Laird  of  Bestalrig 
had  indented  with  the  Lord  Willoughby,  then 
Governor  of  Berwick,  concerning  my  Lord's  ship 
then  built  and  lying  at  Berwick,  whereof  the  Laird 
should  have  been  equal  partner  with  my  Lord,  and 
to  take  voyage  with  the  said  ship,  either  by  the 
Laird  himself,  or  some  other  person  whom  it  pleased 
him  to  appoint  ...  to  pass  to  the  Indies,  the 
Canary s,  and  through  the  Straits,  for  such  conditions 
as  were  set  down  in  the  indenture  betwixt  my  Lord 
and  him,  which  was  framed  by  Sir  John  Guevara,' 
Willoughby 's  cousin,  the  kidnapper  of  Ashfield  in 

Now  this  ship  of  Lord  Willoughby's,  at  all  events, 
was  a  real  ship  ;  and  here  is  a  grain  of  fact  in  the 
narrative  of  Sprot.  The  ship  was  built  by  Lord 
Willoughby  to  protect  English  commerce  from  the 
piracies  of  the  Dunkirkers.  On  March  28,  1601,  he 
writes  from  Berwick  to  Cecil,  '  The  respect  of  my 
country  and  the  pity  of  those  hurt  by  such '  (the 
Dunkirkers)  '  persuaded  me  to  build  a  ship,  and  moves 
me  now  to  offer  to  serve  her  Majesty  at  as  reasonable 
a  rate  as  any  ship  of  140  tons,  with  sixteen  pieces  of 
artillery,  and  100  men  can  be  maintained  with.  .  .  . 
If  this  offer  seem  good  to  you  and  the  Council,  my 
ship  shall  presently  be  fitted,  if  not  I  purpose  to 
dispose  otherwise  of  her '  (to  Logan),  '  being  not  able 
to  maintain  her.'  ('  Border  Calendar,'  ii.  738).  On 
April  19,  Willoughby  wrote  that  he  had  pursued. 


with  his  ship,  a  pirate  which  had  carried  an  English 
prize  into  the  Forth.  But  he  cannot,  unaided,  main- 
tain the  ship,  even  for  one  summer.  On  June  14, 
Willoughby  'took  a  great  cold'  in  his  ship,  lying 
at  the  haven  mouth,  awaiting  a  wind,  and  died 
suddenly.  On  July  20,  Carey  says  that  his  body 
has  been  placed,  with  all  honourable  rites,  on  board 
his  ship. 

It  appears,  then,  that  Willoughby,  unable  to  main- 
tain his  ship,  and  not  subsidised  by  Government,  in 
the  summer  of  1601  admitted  Logan  to  a  half  of  the 
venture,  carrying  great  expenses.  Logan  settled  the 
business  at  Eobert  Jackson's  house,  in  Bridge  Street, 
Berwick,  being  accompanied  by  Sprot,  Bower,  and 
Matthew  Logan.  Matthew  said  privately  to  Sprot, 
6  Wae's  me  that  ever  I  should  see  this  day,  that  the 
Laird  should  grow  a  seaman !  I  wot  not  what  it 
means,  for  it  is  for  no  good,  and  I  fear  this  shall  be 
one  of  the  sorrowful  blocks  that  ever  the  Laird 
made.  It  is  true  that  I  have  oft  thought  that  the 
Laird  would  pass  away,  for  he  is  minded  to  sell  all 
that  he  has,  and  would  to  God  that  he  had  never 
been  born,  what  should  he  do  with  such  conditions, 
to  go  or  to  send  to  the  sea  ?  He  might  have  lived 
well  enough  at  home.  I  find  he  has  ever  been 
carried '  (excited),  6  and  his  mind  has  ever  been  set 
on  passing  out  of  the  country  this  year  past,'  that  is 
since  the  Gowrie  affair. 

Now  all  this  tale  has  much  vraisemblance.  The 
facts  about  Logan's  adventure  with  Willoughby, 


stopped  by  Willoughby's  death,  were  easily  verifiable. 
Logan,  at  his  death,  owned  a  ship,  rated  at  500  marks 
(so  we  read  in  his  inventory),  but  this  can  hardly  have 
been  the  ship  of  Willoughby.  He  was  restless,  excited, 
selling  land  to  supply  a  maritime  enterprise. 

At  this  time  Lady  Restalrig  was  deeply  distressed, 
she  wished  Logan  at  the  Indies,  if  only  he  would 
first  settle  Memington  on  herself.  '  If  it  be  God's 


will,  I  desire  never  to  have  a  child  to  him,'  she  said. 
'  I  have  a  guess  what  this  mystery  means,  woe's 
me  for  his  motherless  children,'  that  is,  children 
of  former  marriages.  Later,  Lady  Eestalrig  had  a 
daughter,  Anna,  by  Logan. 

Matthew  Logan,  as  usual,  denied  every  word 
attributed  to  him  by  Sprot,  except  regrets  for  his 
own  condition.  Matthew  could  do  no  less  to  save 
his  own  life. 

On  August  9,  before  other  witnesses,  and  the  Eev. 
Messrs.  Galloway,  Hall,  and  Hewatt,  Sprot  solemnly 
confessed  to  having  forged  the  letters  in  Logan's 
hand  (then  in  possession  of  his  examiners).  On 
August  10,  the  same  clergymen  and  many  Lords, 
and  Hart,  being  present,  Sprot  came  to  the  point  at 
last.  Where,  he  was  asked,  after  a  prayer  offered, 
at  his  request,  by  Mr.  Galloway,  was  the  letter  of  Logan 
to  Gowrie,  whereon,  as  model,  the  rest  were  forged  ? 
Now  he  had  not  previously  mentioned,  as  far  as  the 
reports  go,  a  letter  of  Logan  to  Gowrie,  as  the  model 
of  his  forgeries.  He  had  mentioned,  as  his  model, 
the  brief  harmless  letter  of  Gowrie  to  Logan.  On 


August  9,  lie  liad  been  very  solemnly  told  that  he 

O  v  t/ 

was  to  die,  and  that  he  would  see  the  faces  of  the 
Lords  of  the  Council  no  more.  Probably,  after  they 
left  him,  he  told,  to  a  minister  or  a  servant  in  the 
gaol,  the  fact  that  he  had  used,  as  his  model,  a  letter 
from  Logan  to  Gowrie.  The  result  was  that  he  did 
again  see,  on  August  10,  the  Lords  of  the  Council, 
who  asked  him  '  where  the  letter  now  was.'  This 
is  Letter  IV,  the  letter  of  Logan  to  Gowrie,  of  July  29, 
1600.  Sprot,  in  place  of  answering  directly,  cited 
from  memory,  and  erroneously,  the  opening  of  the 
letter.  He  had  read  it,  while  it  was  still  unfinished, 
in  July  1600,  at  Fastcastle.  Logan,  who  had  been 
writing  it,  was  called  by  Bower,  went  out,  and  thrust 
it  between  a  bench  and  the  wall :  there  Sprot  found, 
read,  and  restored  the  unfinished  epistle  to  its  place. 
But  the  letter  is  dated  '  from  Gunnisgreen,'  at  the 
conclusion.  Logan,  according  to  Sprot,  left  Gunnis- 
green one  day  at  the  end  of  July,  1600,  or  beginning 
of  August,  thence  rode  to  Fastcastle,  and  thence, 
next  day,  to  Edinburgh  (p.  190). 

Now  Logan,  in  the  letter  (IV),  says  that  he  took 
two  days  to  write  it.  One  day  would  be  at  Fastcastle, 
when  he  was  interrupted ;  the  other,  the  day  of  dating, 
at  Gunnisgreen.  This,  however,  does  not  tally  with 
Sprot's  account  (p.  190)  of  Logan's  movements  (Nine 
Wells,  Gunnisgreen,  Fastcastle,  Edinburgh),  if  these 
are  the  days  of  writing  Letter  IV.  Yet,  if  Sprot 
forged  Letter  IV,  he  knew  where  he  dated  it  from ; 1 

1  He  had  not  the  letter  before  him  at  this  moment,  and  may  have 


if  the  Government  had  it  forged,  they  knew,  from 
Sprot's  confession,  that  it  should  have  been  dated 
from  Fastcastle.  Perhaps  we  should  not  bear  too 
heavily  on  this  point.  A  man  may  mention  the 
wrong  name  by  inadvertence,  or  the  clerk,  by  in- 
advertence, may  write  the  wrong  name.  Mr.  Mark 
Napier  in  his  essay  on  this  matter  twice  or  thrice 
prints  '  Logan '  for  c  Sprot,'  or  '  Sprot '  for  c  Logan.' 1 
6  Fastcastle,'  in  Sprot's  confession,  may  be  a  slip  of 
tongue  or  pen  for  '  Gunnisgreen,'  or  he  may  have 
been  confused  among  the  movements  to  and  from 
Gunnisgreen  and  Fastcastle.  The  present  writer  finds 
similar  errors  in  the  manuscript  of  this  work. 

Sprot  next  alleged  that,  three  months  after  the 
Gowrie  affair,  Logan  bade  Bower  hunt  among  his 
papers  for  this  very  letter.  He  had  been  at  Berwick, 
with  Lord  Willoughby,  and  Bower  told  Sprot  that  he 
was  '  taking  order '  with  all  who  knew  of  his  part  in 
the  Gowrie  plot.  Here  is  the  old  difficulty.  Why 
was  the  letter  kept  for  one  moment  after  Bower 
brought  it  back  ?  Why  leave  it  with  Bower  for 
three  months  ?  At  all  events,  as  Bower  could  not 
read,  Sprot  helped  him  to  look  for  the  letter,  found 
it,  and  kept  it  '  till  he  framed  three  new  letters 
upon  it,'  after  which  he  does  not  say  what  he  did 
with  it. 

Here  Sprot  cited,  from  memory,  but  not  accu- 
rately, more  of  Letter  IV.  The  existence  of  such 
errors  is  not  remarkable.  Sprot  again  swore  to  the 

1  Spottiswoode,  vol.  iii.  pp.  274,  282. 


truth  of  all  his  depositions  since  July  5.  But  if  this 
story  is  true,  how  can  it  be  true  that  Logan  was  at 
ease  in  his  mind,  after  burning  the  letter  from  Alex- 
ander Euthven,  and  another  from  Father  Andrew 
Clerk,  Jesuit,  as  Sprot  previously  swore  ?  There  was 
still  Letter  IV,  lost,  unburned,  a  haunting  fear.  It 
may  be  suggested  that  Sprot  only  kept  this  letter  '  tilV 
he  had  made  his  forgeries  on  its  model,  and  then,  in  a 
later  search,  pretended  to  find  and  returned  it,  having 
first  copied  it  out  in  Logan's  hand ;  that  copy  being 
our  Letter  IV.  Sprot  first  would  make  a  copy,  in 
his  ordinary  hand,  of  the  letter,  then  restore  the 
original,  and,  after  Logan's  death,  copy  his  copy,  in 
imitation  of  Logan's  hand,  and  frame  I,  III,  V,  and 
the  torn  letter  on  his  copy  of  IV.  Finally,  Sprot 
said  that  '  he  believes  this  letter  is  in  his  chest  among 
his  writings,  because  he  left  it  there  when  he  was 
taken  by  Watty  Doig  and  deposes  that  it  is  closed  and 
folded  within  a  piece  of  paper.'  Sprot  said  this  on 
August  10.  On  August  12  he  was  hanged.  Now 
was  this  letter,  on  which  he  forged  three  others, 
found  '  in  his  kist,'  before  his  death  ?  That  it  was  so 
found,  we  have  direct  evidence,  though  not  from  the 
best  of  sources. 

In  the  year  1713,  an  aged  nobleman.  Lord 
Cromarty,  published  a  defence  of  the  King's  con- 
duct in  the  Gowrie  affair.  Lord  Cromarty,  in  1713, 
was  aged  eighty-three.  Born  about  1630,  he  re- 
membered the  beginnings  of  the  Civil  War,  and  says 
that  the  Covenanters,  about  1640-1645,  made  great 


political  capital  out  of  King  James's  alleged  guilt  in 
the  slaughter  of  the  Euthvens.  Later,  Lord  Cromarty 
occupied,  in  the  Eestoration,  the  highest  judicial 
offices,  and,  as  Clerk  Eegistrar,  had  access  to  public 
documents.  He  was  an  old  courtier,  he  may  have 
been  forgetful,  he  may  have  been  unscrupulous,  but, 
as  to  the  letter  in  Sprot's  kist,  he  writes  '  the  letter 
was  found  there  by  the  Sheriff  Depute,  who  was 
ordered  by  Sir  William  Hart,  Lord  Justice  of  Scot- 
land, to  seize  the  said  chest,  and  make  search  for 
this  letter,  which  he  found,  and  delivered  to  the 
King's  Advocate,  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton.' l 


Now  this  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton  was  the  ancestor 
of  the  Earl  of  Haddington,  who  inherits  many  of  his 
papers.  Among  these  we  find  a  copy,  in  Sprot's 
'  course  hand,'  or  rapid  current  hand,  of  Letter  IV, 
and  another  of  Letter  I,  but  no  such  copies  of  II, 
III,  and  V.  Each  of  these  is  endorsed  by  James 
Primrose,  Clerk  of  Council,  is  endorsed  by  Sprot,  in 
faded  ink,  and  is  also  endorsed  in  Sprot's  ordinary 
everyday  hand,  very  firm  and  clear,  thus  : 

'This  is  copyitt  off  the  principal'  (the  original), 
'  lykeas  the  note  writtin  upon  the  bak  is  writtin  by 
me,  George  Sprott.' 

There  is,  in  fact,  another  c  note  on  the  back,'  in 
ink  more  faded,  on  a  dirty  rubbed  part  of  the  paper. 

Now  certainly  the  last  endorsation  was  writt  en  by 
Sprot  either  on  August  11  or  August  12,  1600.  He 
had  not  the  original  or  this  copy  by  him  on 

1  Cromarty,  An  Historical  Account,  &c.,  92  (1713). 


August  10,  or  on  August  11  when  examined,  for  on 
August  10  he  could  only  give  a  version  of  Letter  IY 
from  memory,  and  erroneously,  the  version  cited  in 
his  indictment.  On  August  11  he  still  had  not  the 
original  or  his  copy,  for  he  quoted  from  memory, 
what  he  believed  to  be  a  postscript  to  the  original 
Letter  IV,  a  passage  which  is  really  in  the  text  of 
Letter  IV.  He  could  not  have  made  this  error  if, 
at  that  hour  of  August  11,  he  had  either  the  original 
of  Letter  IV,  or  his  exact  copy  before  him,  nor 
would  there  have  been  any  reason  why  he  should 
quote  from  memory,  if  Government  had  the  docu- 
ments. Yet  he  re-endorsed  his  copies  of  Letters  I  and 
IV  before  his  death.  This  endorsement  is  firm  and 
clear,  the  text  of  the  two  copies  is  fainter  and  much 
of  the  paper  more  rubbed,  as  if  from  being  kept  in 
the  pocket.  The  copies  are  older  than  the  final 
endorsement  on  the  copies.  It  follows  that  the 
Sheriff  Depute  found  these  two  copies  (I,  IV)  and 
the  originals,  in  Sprot's  kist,  and  brought  them  to 
Sprot's  examiners  after  that  hour  of  August  11,  when 
he  could  only  quote  from  memory.  He  then  endorsed 
them  formally,  one  of  the  last  acts  of  his  life. 

The  originals  were  also  found,  for  it  will  not  be 
argued  that  Government  employed  another  forger 
to  forge  them  from  Sprot's  copies  in  c  course  hand.' 
We  know  that  Sprot  had  a  secondary  species  of 
blackmailing  documents,  these  in  current  hand  ;  one 
of  them  he  gave  to  the  Goodman  of  Eentoun.  For 
this,  or  some  other  purpose,  he  had  made  the 



4  course  hand '  copies  of  Letters  I  and  IV,  which 
he  endorsed  just  before  his  death,  or  perhaps  he 
made  them  from  the  original,  which  he  then  de- 
stroyed or  surreptitiously  returned.  When  he  was 
examined  on  August  11,  the  three  preachers,  Gallo- 
way, Hall,  and  Hewatt,  and  the  minister  of  Dudding- 
ston,  Mr.  Lumisden,  were  present.  He  was  entreated 
not  to  perjure  himself  to  the  injury  of  innocent 
people,  dead  or  alive,  'by  making  and  forging  of  lies.' 
He  renewed  his  protestations  of  truth,  asked  Mr. 
Galloway  to  pray  for  him,  wept,  and  repeated  his 

On  August  12  Sprot  was  tried  and  hanged  at 
Edinburgh.  He  renewed  his  protestations  from 
every  corner  of  the  scaffold,  in  the  most  vigorous 
language.  Abbot,  who  was  present,  declares  that 
he  thrice  gave  a  loud  clap  with  his  hands  while  he 
swung,  as  a  proof  that  he  adhered  in  death  to  his 
last  words.  A  similar  story  is  told  of  Kirkcaldy  of 
Grange,  and  I  think  in  other  cases.  Nothing  of  the 
sort  is  in  the  first  draft  of  the  official  account  of  his 
dying  behaviour  (a  draft  manifestly  drawn  up  near 
the  spot),  nor  in  the  official  account  itself. 

Much  value  was  set  on  dying  confessions.  When 
the  preacher,  Eobert  Bruce,  refused  to  believe  the 
King's  account  of  the  Gowrie  tragedy,  he  said  that 
one  proof  would  satisfy  him.  Let  Andrew  Hender- 
son, the  man  in  the  turret,  be  hanged.  If  he  per- 
sisted in  his  confession  on  the  scaffold,  Mr.  Bruce 
would  believe.  The  King  declined  to  make  this 


abominable  experiment.  In  Sprot's  case  his  dying 
confession  did  not  move  the  Kirk  party.  Calder- 
wood  hints  that  Mr.  Galloway  6  had  the  most 
speech  to  Sprot  on  the  scaffold,'  and  so  kept  him 
true  to  a  dying  lie.1  He  adds  that  Spottiswoode 
said  to  Galloway  '  I  am  afraid  this  man  make  us  all 
ashamed,'  that  is,  by  retracting  his  confessions. 
Mr.  Patrick  answered,  '  Let  alone,  my  Lord,  I  shall 
warrant  him.' 2  Had  Andrew  Henderson  swung, 
constant  to  his  confession,  the  Presbyterian  sceptics 
would  have  found  similar  reasons  for  disbelief. 

What  are  we  to  believe?  Did  Sprot  go  wherever 
he  went  with  a  blasphemous  lie  in  his  mouth  ?  A 
motive  for  such  vehemence  of  religious  hypocrisy 
is  difficult  to  find.  Conceivably  he  had  promise 
of  benefits  to  his  family.  Conceivably  he  was  an 
atheist,  and  '  took  God  in  his  own  hand.'  Conceiv- 
ably his  artistic  temperament  induced  him  to  act  his 
lie  well,  as  he  had  a  lie  to  act. 

Yet  all  this  is  not  satisfactory. 

Let  us  take  the  unromantic  view  of  common 
sense.  It  is  this  :  Logan  was  a  restless,  disappointed 
intriguer  and  debauchee.  He  sold  his  lands,  some  to 
acquire  a  partnership  with  Lord  Willoughby  in  a 
vessel  trading  to  America  ;  this  vessel,  or  another,  is 
among  his  assets  recorded  in  his  inventory.  All  his 
lands  he  sold — not  that  he  was  in  debt,  he  was  a  large 

1  Calderwood,  vi.  780. 

2  In    the   Auchendrane  case   (1615),  the  public,  partisans  of  the 
murderers,  wished  the  only  witness  to  be  hanged,  just  to  see  if  he  would 
persevere  in  his  confession. 



lender — for  purposes  of  profligacy.  These  proceed- 
ings gave  rise  to  gossip.  The  Laird  must  be  selling 
his  lands  to  evade  forfeiture.  He  must  have  been 
engaged  in  the  Gowrie  mystery.  Then  Logan  dies 
(July  1606).  Bower  is  also  dead  (January  1606). 
It  occurs  to  Sprot  that  there  is  money  in  all  this, 
and,  having  lost  Logan's  business,  the  hungry  Sprot 
needs  money.  He  therefore  makes  a  pact  with  some 
of  Logan's  debtors.  He,  for  pay,  will  clear  them  of 
their  debts  to  Logan's  executors,  whom  he  will 
enable  them  to  blackmail.  Logan's  descendants  by 
two  marriages  were  finally  his  heirs,  with  Anna,  a 
minor,  daughter  of  his  last  wife,  who  had  hoped  to 
have  no  children  by  him,  the  free-spoken  Lady 
Eestalrig,  nee  Ker  (Marion).  They,  of  course,  were 
robbed,  by  Logan's  forfeiture,  of  33,000  marks,  owed 
to  Logan  by  Dunbar  and  Balmerino.  Meanwhile, 
just  after  Logan's  death,  in  autumn  1606,  Sprot 
forges  Letters  I,  II,  III,  IV,  V,  and  the  torn 
letter,  with  two  compromising  letters  to  Bower,  two 
to  Ninian  Chirnside,  and  an  '  eik,'  or  addition,  of 
compromising  items  to  a  memorandum  on  business, 
which,  in  September  1605,  Logan  gave  to  Bower 
and  John  Bell  before  he  started  for  London  and 
Paris.  All  these  documents,  the  plot-letters,  I,  II, 
III,  IV,  V,  and  the  rest  (which  lie  before  me),  are 
mere  instruments  of  blackmail,  intended  to  terrorise 
the  guardians  of  the  Logans. 

So  far,  all  is  clear.     But,  in  April  1608,  Sprot 
has  blabbed  and  is  arrested.     The  forgeries  are  found 


among  his  papers,  or  given  up  by  Chirnside.  Sprot 
confesses  to  the  plot,  to  Logan's  share  of  it,  and  to 
the  authenticity  of  the  letters  and  papers.  He  is  then 
tortured,  recants  his  confession,  and  avows  the  forgery 
of  the  papers.  The  Government  is  disappointed.  In 
July,  Dunbar  comes  down  from  town,  treats  Sprot 
leniently,  and  gives  him  medical  attendance.  Sprot 
now  confesses  to  his  genuine  knowledge  of  the  plot, 
but  unflinchingly  maintains  that  all  the  papers  so  far 
produced  are  forgeries,  based  on  facts. 

Why  does  he  do  this  ?  He  has  a  better  chance 
of  pardon,  if  he  returns  to  the  statement  that  they 
are  genuine.  If  they  are,  the  Government,  which  he 
must  propitiate,  has  a  far  stronger  hand,  for  the 
forgeries  then  defied  detection.  However,  for  no  con- 
ceivable reason,  unless  it  be  either  conscience  or 
the  vanity  of  the  artist,  Sprot  now  insists  on  claim- 
ing the  letters  as  his  own  handiwork.  On  this  point 
he  was  inaccessible  to  temptation,  if  temptation  was 
offered.  If  he  lies  as  to  Letter  II  having  been  dic- 
tated by  Logan,  he  lies  by  way  of  relapse  into  the 
habit  of  a  lifetime,  and  so  on  other  points.  He  keeps 
back  all  mention  of  Letter  IV,  till  the  last  ember  of 
hope  of  life  is  extinct. 

It  has  not  been  hitherto  known,  either  that  Sprot 
kept  back  Letter  IV  till  almost  his  dying  day,  or  that 
he  then,  at  last,  revealed  it.  Lord  Cromarty's  aver- 
ment that  it  was  found  in  Sprot's  kist  was  disbelieved. 
It  is  true,  however,  and  now  we  ask,  why  did  Sprot 
keep  back  Letter  IV  to  the  last,  and  why,  having  so 


long  concealed  it,  did  he   say  where  it  was,  after  all 
hope  of  life  was  over  ? 

The  answer  can  only  be  conjectural.  Some  might 
guess  thus  :  till  Letter  IV  was  confessed  to  and 
found,  Government  had  not  received  from  Sprot  one 
scrap  of  documentary  evidence  that  could  be  used 
against  Logan's  heirs.  Scoundrel  as  he  was,  Spvot 
could  not  guess  that  the  Privy  Council  would  use 
papers  which  were  confessed  forgeries  to  save  Dunbar 
and  Balmerino  from  paying  some  33,000  marks  to 
Logan's  executors.  The  wretched  Sprot  had  robbed 
the  orphans  on  a  small  scale,  but  he  would  not,  by 
producing  the  genuine  Logan  letter,  enable  the  Lords 
to  ruin  them  utterly.  Bad  as  he  was,  the  Laird  had 
been  kind  to  Sprot.  Therefore  he  kept  back,  and  by 
many  a  lie  concealed,  his  real  pieces  of  evidence, 
Letter  IV,  and  1,  if  I  is  genuine.  So  far  he  acted 


on  a  remnant  of  natural  conscience. 

But  Sprot,  alas,  had  a  religious  conscience.  He 
had  a  soul  to  be  saved.  The  preachers  had  prayed 
with  him.  When  death  was  but  forty-eight  hours 
distant,  he  feared  to  die  with  a  lie  in  his  mouth.  So 
now,  at  last,  he  spoke  of  Letter  IV  as  his  real  model. 
Perhaps  he  hoped  that  it  would  not  be  found,  and 
probably  it  was  in  some  secret  drawer  or  false  bottom 

of  his  kist.     It  was  found,  and  was  used,  alono*  with 


the  confessed  forgeries  (which  even  Sprot  could  not 
have  anticipated),  to  destroy  the  inheritance  of  the 
children,  at  Logan's  posthumous  trial  in  1609. 

But  the  obvious  reply  to  this  hypothesis  is,  that 


Letter  IV,  by  the  evidence  of  modern  experts  (evi- 
dence unanimous  and  irresistible),  is  just  as  much 
forged  as  all  the  rest,  is  just  as  certainly  in  Sprot's 
imitation  of  Logan's  handwriting.  This  being  so, 
why  did  Sprot  keep  it  back  so  long,  and  why, 
having  kept  it  back,  did  he,  almost  in  his  last  hour, 
produce  it,  and  say  (if  he  did)  that  it  was  genuine, 
and  his  model,  as  it  certainly  was  ?  This  is  the  last 
enigma  of  Sprot.  His  motives  defy  my  poor  efforts 
to  decipher  them.  Even  if  the  substance  of  IV  is 
genuine,  what  were  Sprot's  motives  ?  I  do  no-t  feel 
assured  that  Sprot  really  maintained  the  genuineness 
of  the  handwriting  of  Letter  IV.  His  remark  that  he 
kept  Logan's  letter  only  till  he  forged  others  on  it,  as 
a  model,  certainly  implies  that  he  did  not  keep  it  after 
he  had  done  his  forgeries,  and  therefore  that  our 
Letter  IV  is,  confessedly,  not  Logan's  original.  Cer- 
tainly it  is  not. 



THE  crucial  question  now  arises,  What  is  Letter  IV? 
If  it  be  genuine  (in  substance),  then,  whatever  the 
details  of  the  Gowrie  Conspiracy  may  have  been,  a 
conspiracy  there  was.  This  can  only  be  denied  by 
ignorance.  If  the  enterprise  fails,  says  the  author  of 
Letter  IV,  the  plotters  will  lose  their  lives,  their  lands 
and  houses  will  be  '  wrecked,'  their  very  names  will 
be  extirpated  ;  and,  in  fact,  James  did  threaten  to 
extirpate  the  name  of  Euthven.  The  letter  delibe- 
rately means  High  Treason.  The  objection  of  Calder- 
wood,  and  of  all  the  Euthven  apologists,  that  Sprot 
confessed  to  having  forged  all  the  letters,  we  have 
shown  to  rest  on  lack  of  information.  He  said,  at 
last,  that  he  had  forged  many  papers  (some  did  not 
appear  in  Court  in  1609),  and  that  he  forged  three 
letters  on  the  model  of  Letter  IV.  These  three  letters 
may  either  be  I,  III,  and  V  ;  or  III,  V,  and  the  torn 
letter.  The  case  of  Letter  I  is  peculiar.  Though  it 
contains  much  that  is  in  Letter  IV,  and  might 
have  been  taken  from  it,  the  repetitions  need  not 
imply  copying  from  Letter  IV.  Byron  and  others 
would  say  the  same  things,  on  the  same  day,  to  two 

WHAT   IS   LETTER  IV?  233 

or  three  correspondents.  Letter  IV  is  subsequent,  as 
dated,  to  Letter  I,  and  Logan  might  say  to  the  Un- 
known, on  July  18,  what,  after  the  announced  inter- 
val of  ten  days,  he  said  to  Gowrie.  Letter  I  contains 
this  remark  on  the  nature  of  the  plot :  '  It  is  not  far 
by '  (not  unlike)  '  that  form,  with  the  like  stratagem, 
whereof  we  had  conference  in  Cap.  h,'  which  may  be 
Capheaton,  on  the  English  side  of  the  Border.  Pro- 
bably Logan  often  discussed  ingenious  ways  of  catching 
the  King :  new  plots  were  hatched  about  once  a 
month,  as  Cecil's  and  the  other  correspondence  of 
the  age  abundantly  proves.  The  plot  (the  letter  says) 
is  like  that  in  a  Paduan  story  of  a  nobleman.  The 
rest  of  the  letter  is  identical  with  the  matter  of  III, 

IV,  and   V.     We  cannot  be  sure  whether  Letter  I 
is  one  of  the  three  forged  on  IV  or  not. 

One  thing  is  certain,  Letters  III  and  V,  to  the 
Unknown,  are  modelled  on  IV,  as  is  the  torn  letter. 
Sprot  said  this  was  the  case,  and  every  reader  of  III, 

V,  and  the  torn  letter  (given  above)  must  see  that  he 
tells  the  truth.     These  letters  contain  no  invention  at 
all,  they  merely  repeat  Letter  IV.     Any  man  who 
could  invent  IV  had  genius  enough  to  alter  his  tunes 
in  III,  V,  and   the   torn   letter.      But   Sprot   never 
deserts  his  model.      This  is    an   argument   for   the 
authenticity  in  substance  of  Letter  IV.     The  other 
three  contain  nothing  that  is  not  in  Letter  IV,  and 
everything  that  is  in  it,  except  what  is  personal  to 
Gowrie,  and  would  be  inappropriate  if  addressed  to  the 
Unknown  (I,  III,  V),  or  to  Chirnside  (torn  letter). 


There  is  (1)  the  mention  of  a  Paduan  adventure, 
the  basis  of  the  plot,  a  thing  that  Sprat  is  very  un- 
likely to  have  invented.  With  all  my  admiration 
for  Sprot,  I  do  think  that  the  Paduan  touch  is  beyond 
him.  This  occurs  in  Letter  IV,  'the  good  sport 
that  M.A.,  your  lordship's  brother,  told  me  of  a  noble- 
man in  Padua.  It  is  a  parasteur '  ( ?  a  propos)  '  to  this 
purpose  we  have  in  hand.'  This  appears  in  Letter  I, 
'  reckless  toys  of  Padua,'  and  in  Letter  V,  '  bid  M.  A. 
remember  on  the  sport  he  told  me  of  Padua.' 

2.  The  constant  applause  of  Bower.     This  is  in 
Letter  IV,  and  in  I,  III,  Y,  and  the  torn  letter. 

3.  Meeting  with  Alexander  Euthven.     This  is  in 
IV,  and  in  I  and  V. 

4.  The  meeting  at  Fastcastle,  which  is  to  be  quiet 
and  well-provisioned.     This  is  in  IV,  and  in  I,  III,  V. 

5.  Lord  Home  and  Mr.  Ehynd  are  to  know  nothing. 
This  is  in  IV,  and  in  I,  and  V,  and  the  torn  letter, 
utterly  needless  repetition. 

6.  The  King's  hunting,  the  opportunity  for   the 
plot.     This  is  in  IV,  and  in  I,  but  that  is  natural. 

7.  Directions  as  to  returning  the  letters.     These 
are  in  IV,  in  I,  III,  V,  and  the  torn  letter. 

8.  Injunctions  of  secrecy.     These  are  in  IV,  and 
I,  III,  V,  and  in  the  torn  letter. 

9.  Logan   will   be   true,   'although   the    scaffold 
were  already  set  up.'     This  is  a  phrase  of  Letter  IV, 
and  recurs  in  Letter  III  and  in  the  torn  letter. 

10.  Logan's    elevation   of    heart   on   receipt   of 
Gowrie's  letter.     This  occurs  in  IV  and  in  V. 

WHAT   IS  LETTER   IV?  235 

Who  can  doubt  that  Letter  IV  is  the  source, 
followed  servilely  by  the  forger,  of  the  torn  letter 
and  I  (?),  Ill,  V  ?  If  Sprot  could  invent  the  substance 
of  IV,  why  was  he  so  chary  of  invention  in  all  the 
other  letters  ? 

It  is  clear,  moreover,  that  the  Unknown  himself 
is  derived  from  a  line  in  Letter  IV :  'I  have 
already  sent  another  letter  to  the  gentleman  your 
Lordship  knows,  as  the  bearer  will  inform  you  of  his 
answer.'  The  bearer  is  always  Bower,  so  the  c  gentle- 
man '  is  to  be  conceived  as  in  Gowrie's  neighbour- 
hood, or  on  the  route  thither,  as  one  bearer  serves 
both  for  Gowrie  and '  the  gentleman.  Therefore, 
before  July  5,  Sprot  (who  had  no  idea  as  to  who 
the  gentleman  was)  identified  the  '  gentleman,'  the 
Unknown  of  I,  III,  V,  with  the  laird  of  Kinfauns, 
near  Perth,  or  with  the  Constable  of  Dundee ;  but  he 
withdrew  these  imputations,  craving  the  pardon  of 
the  accused. 

Thus  it  stands  to  reason  that  I  (?),  Ill,  V,  and 
the  torn  letter  are  forged  on  the  model  of  IV.  Sprot 
introduces  no  novelties  in  I,  III,  V,  or  the  torn 
epistle.  He  harps  eternally  on  the  strings  of  IV. 
The  only  variation  is  (V)  the  mention  of  '  one  other 
man  with  you,'  in  the  proposed  sail  to  Fastcastle. 

It  is  not  easy  for  criticism  to  evade  the  conclu- 
sion that  I  (?),  Ill,  V,  and  the  torn  letter  are,  indeed, 
forgeries  modelled  on  IV.  And  what  is  IV  ? 

Is  Letter  IV  in  substance  genuine  ?  If  not,  why 
did  Sprot  keep  it  back  till  the  rope  was  noosed  for 


his  neck  ?  A  guess  at  his  possible  reasons  for  so 
keeping  it  back  (as  the  only  real  documentary  evi- 
dence extant  against  the  orphans  of  Logan)  we  have 
given,  but  this  fails  if  Letter  IV  was  a  forgery :  as 
in  handwriting  it  was. 

Then  there  are  the  contents  of  Letter  IV.  To 
myself,  and  to  Mr.  Anderson,  it  does  not  seem 
probable,  it  seems  hardly  credible,  that  Sprot  could 
have  invented  the  contents  of  Letter  IV.  If  he  did, 
his  power  of  rendering  character  might  have  been 
envied  by  the  author  of  the  Waverley  Novels.  In  IV 
Logan  is  painted,  the  '  main  loose  man,  but  a  good 
fellow,'  with  a  master  hand.  The  thing  is  freely, 
largely,  and  spontaneously  executed.  What  espe- 
cially moves  me  to  think  IV  no  invention,  is  the 
reference  to  the  Paduan  incident  or  romance,  '  the 
good  sport  that  Mr.  Alexander  told  me  of  the  noble- 
man of  Padua,  it  is  a  propos  to  the  purpose  we  have 
in  hand.'  This  is  casually  inserted  in  the  last  words 
of  the  postscript,  not  blazoned  in  the  text,  as  in  the 
forgeries  confessedly  modelled  on  this  letter.  The 
whole  tone  of  the  letter  is  in  keeping  with  the 
alleged  author's  temperament.  It  is  respectful,  but 
far  from  servile.  Gowrie  is  a  great  Earl,  but  Logan 
is  of  an  old  and  good  name.  There  is  the  genial 
sensualism  of  the  man,  with  his  promise  of  wine  and 
'  a  fine  hattit  kit '  (a  kind  of  syllabub).  There  is  the 
joyous  forward  glance  at  an  anniversary  dinner,  with 
Both  well,  to  which  the  King's  hunting  of  this  year  shall 
furnish  the  dainty  cheer  ;  '  hoc  jocose  ! '  At  this  dinner 

WHAT   IS   LETTER   IV  ?  237 

Bothwell  and  Gowrie,  old  allies,  are  to  meet  at 
Logan's  board,  which  may  suggest  that  Bothwell 
and  Gowrie  are  still  working  together. 

The  contempt  for  Lord  Home  as  a  conspirator — 
'  in  good  faith  he  will  never  help  his  friend  or  harm 
his  foe  ' — and  the  praises  of  Bower,  are  characteristic, 
and,  here,  are  in  place  ;  elsewhere  they  are  idle  repe- 
titions, mere  copies.  The  apology  for  bad  writing — 
Logan  could  not  employ  a  secretary  in  this  case — is 
natural :  the  two  days  writing  agrees  with  Sprot's 
evidence.  (P.  221.) 

Could  Sprot  have  invented  all  this :  and,  in 
his  confessed  forgeries,  failed  to  invent  anything  ? 
Would  not  the  fertility  of  his  genius  have  hurried 
him  into  fresh  developments,  and  characteristic 
details,  appropriate  to  the  imaginary  correspondent 
whom  he  addresses  ?  These  considerations  may  seem 
a  mere  leaning  on  '  internal  evidence,'  and  '  literary 
instinct,'  broken  reeds.  But  the  case  is  buttressed 
by  the  long  and,  on  any  theory,  purposeless  reten- 
tion of  Letter  IV,  the  secrecy  concerning  it,  and  the 
confession,  so  obviously  true,  that  Letter  IV  is  the 
source  and  model  of  the  forgeries.  These  facts  have 
hitherto  been  unknown  to  writers  who  believed 
the  whole  correspondence  to  be  a  forgery  done  for 
the  Government. 

Both  Mr.  Anderson  (who  has  greatly  aided  me  by 
his  acuteness  and  learned  experience  of  old  MSS.) 
and  myself  disbelieve  that  Logan's  hand  wrote  Letter 
IV.  The  matter,  the  contents  of  Letter  IV,  may  be 


Logan's,  but  the  existing  document  may  be  '  a  Sprot 
after  Logan.'  Sprot  may  have  reinserted  the  genuine 
Logan  IV  among  Bower's  collection  of  papers,  pre- 
tended to  find  it,  and  returned  it  to  Logan,  after 
copying  it  in  Logans  hand.  Or  he  may  have  copied 
it  in  his  '  course  hand '  (the  copy  in  the  Haddington 
MSS.),  and  later,  in  autumn  1606,  after  Logan's 
death,  have  rewritten  his  copy  in  an  imitation  of 
Logan's  hand.  The  contents,  Mr.  Anderson  believes, 
as  I  do,  are,  none  the  less,  genuine  Logan. 

If  readers  accept  these  conclusions,  there  was  a 
Gowrie  conspiracy,  and  Logan  was  in  it.  CI  trow 
your  Lordship  has  a  proof  of  my  constancy  already 
ere  now,'  he  says  in  Letter  IV,  and  Gowrie  may 
have  had  a  proof,  in  his  early  conspiracies  of  1593- 
1594,  or  in  a  testimonial  to  Logan  from  Bothwell, 
Gowrie's  old  ally. 

But,  if  readers  do  not  accept  our  conclusions, 
they  may  still  rest,  perhaps,  on  the  arguments 
adduced  in  the  earlier  chapters  of  this  essay,  to 
demonstrate  that  neither  accident  nor  the  machina- 
tions of  the  King,  but  an  enterprise  of  their  own, 
caused  the  Slaughter  of  the  Euthvens.  The  infamous 
conduct  of  the  Privy  Council  in  1608-1609  does  not 
prove  that,  in  1600,  the  King  carried  out  a  conspiracy 
in  itself  impossible. 

I  have  found  nothing  tending  to  show  that  King 
James  was  ever  made  aware  of  Sprot's  confessions  of 
forgery.  It  is  true  that  Sir  William  Hart,  the  Lord 
Justice,  went  to  Court  after  Sprot's  death,  and,  in 

WHAT   IS   LETTER  IV  ?  239 

September,  the  Scottish  Privy  Council  asked  James 
to  send  him  home  again.1  But  Hart  need  not  have 
told  all  the  truth  to  James. 

There  is  a  kind  of  rejoicing  naivete  in  all  of 
James's  references  to  the  Gowrie  affair,  which  seems 
to  me  hardly  consistent  with  his  disbelief  in  his 
own  prowess  on  that  occasion.  If  one  may  con- 
jecture, one  would  guess  that  the  Privy  Council 
and  the  four  preachers  managed  to  persuade  them- 
selves, Sprot  being  the  liar  whom  we  know,  that 
he  lied  when  he  called  his  Logan  papers  forgeries. 
The  real  facts  may  have  been  concealed  from  the 
King.  Mr.  Gunton,  the  Librarian  at  Hatfield,  in- 
forms me  that,  had  he  not  seen  Letter  IY  (which  he 
is  sure  was  written  by  Sprot),  he  does  not  think  he 
should  have  suspected  the  genuineness  of  Letters  II 
and  III,  after  comparing  them  with  the  undoubted 
letters  of  Logan  in  the  Cecil  manuscripts.  The 
Government  and  the  four  preachers,  with  such 
documents  in  their  hands,  documents  still  apt  to 
delude,  may  easily  have  brought  themselves  to  dis- 
believe Sprot's  assertion  that  they  were  all  forgeries. 
Let  us  hope  that  they  did ! 

1  Melrose  Papers,  vol.  i.  pp.  72,  73. 



THE  affair  of  Sprot  has  an  obvious  bearing  on  that 
other  mystery,  the  authenticity  of  the  Casket  Letters 
attributed  to  Queen  Mary.  As  we  know,  she,  though 
accused,  was  never  allowed  to  see  the  letters  alleged 
to  be  hers.  We  know  that,  in  December  1568, 
these  documents  were  laid  before  an  assembly  of 
English  nobles  at  Hampton  Court.  They  were 
compared,  for  orthography  and  handwriting,  with 
genuine  letters  written  by  the  Queen  to  Elizabeth, 
and  Cecil  tells  us  that  '  no  difference  was  found.'  It 
was  a  rapid  examination,  by  many  persons,  on  a  brief 
winter  day,  partly  occupied  by  other  business.  If 
experts  existed,  we  are  not  informed  that  they  were 
present.  The  Casket  Letters  have  disappeared  since 
the  death  of  the  elder  Gowrie,  in  1584.  From  him, 
Elizabeth  had  vainly  sought  to  purchase  them.  They 
were  indispensable,  said  Bowes,  her  ambassador,  to 
'  the  secrecy  of  the  cause.'  Gowrie  would  not  be 
tempted,  and  it  is  not  improbable  that  he  carried 
so  valuable  a  treasure  with  him,  when,  in  April  1584, 
he  retired  to  Dundee,  to  escape  by  sea  if  the  Angus 
conspiracy  failed. 


At  Dundee  lie  was  captured,  after  defending  the 
house  in  which  he  was  residing.  That  house  was 
pulled  down  recently  ;  nothing  was  discovered.  But 
fable  runs  that,  at  the  destruction  of  another  ancient 
house  in  Dundee,  '  Lady  Wark's  Stairs,'  a  packet  of 
old  letters  in  French  was  found  in  a  hiding  hole 
contrived  within  a  chimney.  The  letters  were  not 
examined  by  any  competent  person,  and  nobody 
knows  what  became  of  them.  Eomance  relates  that 
they  were  the  Casket  Letters,  entrusted  by  Gowrie 
to  a  friend.  It  is  equally  probable  that  he  yielded 
them  to  the  King,  when  he  procured  his  remission 
for  the  Eaid  of  Euthven.  In  any  case,  they  are  lost. 

Consequently  we  cannot  compare  the  Casket 
Letters  with  genuine  letters  by  Mary.  On  the  other 
hand,  as  I  chanced  to  notice  that  genuine  letters  of 
Logan's  exist  at  Hatfield,  I  was  enabled,  by  the  kind- 
ness of  the  Marquis  of  Salisbury,  and  of  Sir  Stair 
Agnew,  to  have  both  the  Hatfield  Logan  letters,  and 
the  alleged  Logan  letters  produced  in  1609,  photo- 
graphed and  compared,  at  Hatfield  and  at  the  General 
Eegister  House  in  Edinburgh.  By  good  fortune,  the 
Earl  of  Haddington  also  possesses  (what  we  could  not 
expect  to  find  in  the  case  of  the  Casket  Letters)  docu- 
ments in  the  ordinary  handwriting  of  George  Sprot, 
the  confessed  forger  of  the  plot-letters  attributed 
to  Logan.  The  result  of  comparison  has  been  to 
convince  Mr.  Gunton  at  Hatfield,  Mr.  Anderson  in 
Edinburgh,  Professor  Hume  Brown,  and  other 
gentlemen  of  experience,  that  Sprot  forged  all  the 



plot-letters.  Their  reasons  for  holding  this  opinion 
entirely  satisfy  me,  and  have  been  drawn  up  by  Mr. 
Anderson,  in  a  convincing  report.  To  put  the  matter 
briefly,  the  forged  letters  present  the  marked  peculi- 
arities of  Logan's  orthography,  noted  by  the  witnesses 
in  1609.  But  they  also  contain  many  peculiarities 
of  spelling  which  are  not  Logan's,  but  are  Sprot's. 
The  very  dotting  of  the  '  i's  '  is  Sprot's,  not  Logan's. 
The  long  '  s '  of  Logan  is  heavily  and  clumsily 
imitated.  There  is  a  distinct  set  of  peculiarities 
never  found  in  Logan's  undisputed  letters  :  in  Sprot's 
own  letters  always  found.  The  hand  is  more  rapid 
and  flowing  than  that  of  Logan.  Not  being  myself 
familiar  with  the  Scottish  handwriting  of  the  period, 
my  own  opinion  is  of  no  weight,  but  I  conceive  that 
the  general  effect  of  Logan's  hand,  in  1586,  is  not 
precisely  like  that  of  the  plot-letters. 

My  point,  however,  is  that,  in  1609,  Sprot's 
forgeries  were  clever  enough  to  baffle  witnesses  of  un- 
blemished honour,  very  familiar  with  the  genuine 
handwriting  of  Logan.  The  Eev.  Alexander  Watson, 
minister  of  the  Kirk  of  Coldinghame  (where  Logan 
was  wont  to  attend),  alleged  that  '  the  character  of 
every  letter  resembles  perfectly  Eobert's  handwrit, 
every  way'  The  spelling,  which  was  peculiar,  was  also 
Logan's  as  a  rule.  Mr.  Watson  produced  three  genuine 
letters  by  Logan,  before  the  Lords  of  the  Articles 
(who  were  very  sceptical),  and  satisfied  them  that  the 
plot-letters  were  the  laird's.  Mr.  Alexander  Smith, 
minister  of  Chirnside,  was  tutor  to  Logan's  younger 


children ;  he  gave  identical  evidence.  Sir  John 
Arnott,  Provost  of  Edinburgh,  a  man  of  distinction 
and  eminence,  produced  four  genuine  letters  by  the 
Laird,  c  agreeing  perfectly  in  spelling  and  character 
with  the  plot-letters.  The  sheriff  clerk  of  Berwick, 
William  Home,  in  Aytoun  Mill  (a  guest,  I  think,  at 
Logan's  '  great  Yules  '),  and  John  Home,  notary  in 
Eyemouth,  coincided.  The  minister  of  Aytoun,  Mr. 
William  Hogg,  produced  a  letter  of  Logan  to  the 
Laird  of  Aytoun,  but  was  not  absolutely  so  certain 
as  the  other  witnesses.  '  He  thinks  them '  (the  plot- 
letters)  '  like  [to  be]  his  writing,  and  that  the  same 
appear  to  be  very  like  his  write,  by  the  conformity 
of  letters  and  spelling.' 1 

Thus,  at  the  examination  of  Logan's  real  and 
forged  letters,  as  at  the  examination  of  Queen  Mary's 
real  and  Casket  letters,  in  spelling  and  handwriting 
'  no  difference  was  found.'  Yet  the  plot-letters  were 
all  forged,  and  Mr.  Anderson  shows  that,  though 
4  no  difference  was  found,  many  differences  existed. 
Logan  had  a  better  chance  of  acquittal  than  Mary. 
The  Lords  of  the  Articles,  writes  Sir  Thomas  Hamilton 
to  the  King  (June  21,  1609),  'had  preconceived  hard 
opinions  of  Eestalrig's  process.'  Yet  they  were 
convinced  by  the  evidence  of  the  witnesses,  and  by 
their  own  eves. 


From  the  error  of  the  Lords  of  the  Articles,  in 
1609,  it  obviously  follows  that  the  English  Lords,  at 
Hampton  Court,  in  1568,  may  have  been  unable  to 

1  Pitcairn,  ii.  289-290.  2  Ibid.  ii.  292. 

E  2 


detect  proofs  of  forgery  in  the  Casket  Letters,  which, 
if  the  Casket  Letters  could  now  be  compared  with 
those  of  Mary,  would  be  at  once  discovered  by 
modern  experts.  In  short,  the  evidence  as  to  Mary's 
handwriting,  even  if  as  unanimously  accepted,  by 
the  English  Lords,  as  Cecil  declares,  is  not  worth  a 
fc  hardhead,'  a  debased  copper  Scottish  coin.  It  is 
worth  no  more  than  the  opinion  of  the  Lords  of  the 
Articles  in  the  case  of  the  letters  attributed  to 





Gowrie's  Arms  and  Ambitions 

THE  frontispiece  of  this  volume  is  copied  from  the  design 
of  the  Earl  of  Gowrie's  arms,  in  what  is  called  '  Work- 
man's MS.,'  at  the  Lyon's  office  in  Edinburgh.  The 
shield  displays,  within  the  royal  treasure,  the  arms  of 
Euthven  in  the  first  and  fourth,  those  of  Cameron  and 
Halyburton  in  the  second  and  third  quarters.  The 
supporters  are,  dexter,  a  Goat ;  sinister,  a  Earn  ;  the  crest 
is  a  Eam's  head.  The  motto  is  not  given ;  it  was  DEID 
SCHAW.  The  shield  is  blotted  by  transverse  strokes  of  the 
pen,  the  whole  rude  design  having  been  made  for  the 
purpose  of  being  thus  scored  out,  after  Gowrie's  death, 
posthumous  trial  and  forfeiture,  in  1600. 

On  the  left  of  the  sinister  supporter  is  an  armed  man, 
in  the  Gowrie  livery.  His  left  hand  grasps  his  sword- 
hilt,  his  right  is  raised  to  an  imperial  crown,  hanging 
above  him  in  the  air  ;  from  his  lips  issue  the  words,  TIBI 
SOLI,  '  for  thee  alone.'  Sir  James  Balfour  Paul,  Lyon, 
informs  me  that  he  knows  no  other  case  of  such  additional 
supporter,  or  whatever  the  figure  ought  to  be  called. 

This  figure  does  not  occur  on  any  known  Euthven  seal. 
It  is  not  on  that  of  the  first  Earl  of  Gowrie,  affixed  to  a 
deed  of  February  1583-1584.  It  is  not  on  a  seal  used 


in  1597,  by  John,  third  Earl,  given  in  Henry  Laing's 
'  Catalogue  of  Scottish  Seals'  (vol.  i.  under  'Ruthven'). 
But,  in  Crawford's  '  Peerage  of  Scotland  '  (1716),  p.  166, 
the  writer  gives  the  arms  of  the  third  Earl  (John,  the 
victim  of  August  5,  1600).  In  place  of  the  traditional 
Scottish  motto  Deid  Schaiv,  is  the  Latin  translation,  Facta 
Probant.  The  writer  says  (Note  C),  '  This  from  an 
authentic  copy  of  his  arms,  richly  illuminated  in  the  year 
1597,  with  his  name  and  titles,  viz.  "  Joannes  Ruthven, 
Comes  de  Gowry,  Doniinus  de  Ruthven,"  &c.,  in  my 

In  1597,  as  the  archives  of  the  Faculty  of  Law,  in  the 
University  of  Padua,  show,  Gowrie  was  a  student  of 
Padua.  It  is  also  probable  that,  in  1597,  he  attained  his 
majority.  He  certainly  had  his  arms  richly  illuminated, 
and  he  added  to  his  ancestral  bearings  what  Crawfurd 
describes  thus  :  '  On  the  dexter  a  chivaleer,  garnish'd  with 
the  Earl's  coat  of  arms,  pointing  with  a  sivord  upward 
to  an  imperial  crown,  with  this  device,  TIBI  SOLI.' 

In  Workman's  MS.,  the  figure  points  to  the  crown  with 
the  open  right  hand,  and  the  left  hand  is  on  the  sword- 
hilt.  The  illuminated  copy  of  1597,  once  in  the  possession 
of  Crawfurd,  must  be  the  more  authentic;  the  figure  here 
points  the  sword  at  a  crown,  which  is  Tibi  Soli,  Tor 
thee  '  (Gowrie  ?)  '  alone.' 

Now  on  no  known  Ruthven  seal,  as  we  saw,  does  this 
figure  appear,  not  even  on  a  seal  of  Gowrie  himself,  used 
in  1597.  Thus  it  is  perhaps  not  too  daring  to  suppose 
that  Gowrie,  when  in  Italy  in  1597,  added  this  emblematic 
figure  to  his  ancestral  bearings.  What  does  the  figure 
symbolise  ? 

On  this  point  we  have  a  very  curious  piece  of  evidence. 
On  June  22,  1609,  Ottavio  Baldi  wrote,  from  Venice,  to 
James,  now  King  of  England.  His  letter  was  forwarded 
by  Sir  Henry  Wotton.  Baldi  says  that  he  has  received 
from  Sir  Robert  Douglas,  and  is  sending  to  the  King  by 


his  nephew — a  Cambridge  student — '  a  strange  relique  out 
of  this  country.'  He  obtained  it  thus  :  Sir  Eobert  Douglas, 
while  at  home  in  Scotland,  had  '  heard  speech '  of  '  a 
certain  emblem  or  impresa,'  left  by  Gowrie  in  Padua. 
Meeting  a  Scot  in  Padua,  Douglas  asked  where  this  emblem 
now  was,  and  he  was  directed  to  the  school  of  a  teacher 
of  dancing.  There  the  emblem  hung,  *  among  other 
devices  and  remembrances  of  his  scholars.'  Douglas  had 
a  copy  of  the  emblem  made  ;  and  immediately  '  acquainted 
me  with  the  quality  of  the  thing,'  says  Baldi.  '  We  agreed 
together,  that  it  should  be  fit,  if  possible,  to  obtain  the 
very  original  itself,  and  to  leave  in  the  room  thereof  the 
copy  that  he  had  already  taken,  which  he  did  effect  by 
well  handling  the  matter. 

'  Thus  hath  your  Majesty  now  a  view,  in  umbra,  of 
those  detestable  thoughts  which  afterwards  appeared  in 
facto,  according  to  the  said  Earl's  own  mot.  For  what 
other  sense  or  allusion  can  the  reaching  at  a  crown  with  a 
sword  in  a  stretched  posture,  and  the  impersonating  of  his 
device  in  a  blackamore,  yield  to  any  intelligent  and  honest 
beholder  ?  ' l 

From  Baldi's  letter  we  learn  that,  in  the  device  left  by 
Gowrie  at  Padua,  the  figure  pointing  a  sword  at  the  crown 
was  a  negro,  thus  varying  from  the  figure  in  Workman's 
MS.,  and  that  in  the  illuminated  copy  emblazoned  in 
1597,  and  possessed  in  1716  by  Crawfurd.  Next,  we  learn 
that  Sir  Eobert  Douglas  had  heard  talk  of  this  emblem  in 
Scotland,  before  he  left  for  Italy.  Lastly,  a  mot  on  the 
subject  by  the  Earl  himself  was  reported,  to  the  effect  that 
the  device  set  forth  '  in  a  shadow,'  what  was  intended  to 
be  executed  '  in  very  deed.' 

Now  how  could  Sir  Eobert  Douglas,  in  Scotland,  hear 
talk  of  what  had  been  done  and  said  years  ago  by  Gowrie 
in  Padua  ?  Sir  Eobert  Douglas  was  descended  from 

1  State  Papers,   Venice,   E.G.,   No.   14,    1608-10.      Hill  Burton, 
History  of  Scotland,  vol.  vi.  pp.  135,  136.     Note.     Edition  of  1870. 


Archibald  Douglas  of  Glenbervie  (ob.  1570),  who  was 
ancestor  of  the  Catholic  Earl  of  Angus  (flor.  1596).  This 
Archibald  of  Glenbervie  had  a  son,  Archibald,  named  in 
his  father's  testament,  but  otherwise  unknown.1  Rather 
senior  to  Gowrie  at  the  University  of  Padua,  and  in  the 
same  faculty  of  law,  was  an  Archibald  Douglas.  He  may 
have  been  a  kinsman  of  Sir  Robert  Douglas,  himself  of  the 
Glenbervie  family,  and  from  him  Sir  Robert,  while  still  in 
Scotland,  may  have  heard  of  Gowrie's  device,  left  by  him 
at  Padua,  and  of  his  mot  about  in  umbra  and  in  facto. 
But,  even  if  these  two  Douglases  were  not  akin,  or  did 
not  meet,  still  Keith,  Lindsay,  and  Ker  of  Newbattle,  all 
contemporaries  of  Gowrie  at  Padua,  might  bring  home  the 
report  of  Gowrie's  enigmatic  device,  and  of  his  mot  there- 
anent.  Had  the  emblem  been  part  of  the  regular  arms  of 
Ruthven,  Sir  Robert  Douglas,  and  every  Scot  of  quality, 
would  have  known  all  about  it,  and  seen  no  mystery  in  it. 

It  will  scarcely  be  denied  that  the  assumption  by 
Gowrie  of  the  figure  in  his  livery,  pointing  a  sword  at  the 
crown,  and  exclaiming  '  For  Thee  Only,'  does  suggest  that 
wildly  ambitious  notions  were  in  the  young  man's  mind. 
What  other  sense  can  the  emblem  bear  ?  How  can  such 
ideas  be  explained  ? 

In  an  anonymous  and  dateless  MS.  cited  in  '  The  Life 
of  John  Earl  of  Gowrie,'  by  the  Rev.  John  Scott  of  Perth 
(1818),  it  is  alleged  that  Elizabeth,  in  April  1600,  granted 
to  Gowrie,  then  in  London,  the  guard  and  honours  appro- 
priate to  a  Prince  of  Wales.  The  same  Mr.  Scott  suggests 
a  Royal  pedigree  for  Gowrie.  His  mother,  wife  of 
William,  first  Earl,  was  Dorothea  Stewart,  described  in  a 
list  of  Scottish  nobles  (1592)  as  'sister  of  umquhile  Lord 
Methven.'  Now  Henry  Stewart,  Lord  Methven  ('  Lord 
Muffin,'  as  Henry  VIII  used  to  call  him),  was  the  third 
husband  of  the  sister  of  Henry  VIII,  Margaret  Tudor,  wife, 

This  information  I  owe  to  Mr.  Anderson,  with  the  reference  to 
Crawford,  and  other  details. 


first  of  James  IV,  then  of  the  Earl  of  Angus  (by  whom 
she  had  Margaret,  Countess  of  Lennox,  and  grandmother 
of  James  VI),  then  of  Lord  Methven.  Now  if  Margaret 
Tudor  had  issue  by  Henry  Stewart,  Lord  Methven,  and  if 
that  issue  was  Dorothea,  mother  of  John,  third  Earl  of 
Gowrie,  or  was  Dorothea's  father  or  mother,  that  Earl  was 
Elizabeth's  cousin.  Now  Burnet,  touching  on  the  Gowrie 
mystery,  says  that  his  own  father  had  '  taken  great  pains 
to  inquire  into  that  matter,  and  did  always  believe  it  was  a 
real  conspiracy.  .  .  .  Upon  the  King's  death,  Gowrie  stood 
next  to  the  succession  of  the  crown  of  England,'  namely, 
as  descended  from  Margaret  Tudor  by  Henry  (Burnet  says 
1  Francis  '  !),  Lord  Methven.  Margaret  and  Methven,  says 
Burnet,  had  a  son,  '  made  Lord  Methven  by  James  V.  In 
the  patent  he  is  called  frater  noster  uterinus '  — '  Our 
brother  uterine.'  l  He  had  only  a  daughter,  who  was 
mother  or  grandmother  to  the  Earl  of  Gowrie,  so  that  by 
this  he  might  be  glad  to  put  the  King  out  of  the  way,  that 
so  he  might  stand  next  to  the  succession  of  the  crown  of 
England.'  *  If  this  were  true,  the  meaning  of  Gowrie's 
device  would  be  flagrantly  conspicuous.  But  where  is  that 
patent  of  James  V  ?  Burnet  conceivably  speaks  of  it  on  the 
information  of  his  father,  who  '  took  great  pains  to  inquire 
into  the  particulars  of  that  matter,'  so  that  he  could  tell 
his  son,  'one  thing  which  none  of  the  historians  have 
taken  any  notice  of,'  namely,  our  Gowrie's  Tudor  descent, 
and  his  claims  (failing  James  and  his  issue)  to  the  crown 
of  England.  Now  Burnet's  father  was  almost  a  contem- 
porary of  the  Gowrie  affair.  Of  the  preachers  of  that 
period,  the  King's  enemies,  Burnet's  father  knew  Mr. 
Davidson  (ob.  1603)  and  Mr.  Eobert  Bruce,  and  had  listened 
to  their  prophecies.  '  He  told  me,'  says  Burnet,  '  of  many 
of  their  predictions  that  he  himself  heard  them  throw 
out,  which  had  no  effect.'  Davidson  was  an  old  man  in 

1  Burnet's  History  of  his  Own  Time,  vol.  i.  pp.  24,  25,  mdccxxv. 


1600 ;  Bruce,  for  bis  disbelief  in  James's  account  of  tbe 
conspiracy,  was  suspended  in  that  year,  though  he  lived 
till  1631,  and,  doubtless,  prophesied  in  select  circles.  Mr. 
Bruce  long  lay  concealed  in  the  house  of  Burnet's  great- 
grandmother,  daughter  of  Sir  John  Arnot,  a  witness  in  the 
trial  of  Logan  of  Restalrig.  Thus  Burnet's  father  had 
every  means  of  knowing  the  belief  of  the  contemporaries 
of  Gowrie,  and  he  may  conceivably  be  Burnet's  source 
for  the  tale  of  Gowrie's  Tudor  descent  and  Eoyal  claims. 
They  were  almost  or  rather  quite  baseless,  but  they 
were  current. 

In  fact,  Dorothea  Stewart,  mother  of  Gowrie,  was  cer- 
tainly a  daughter  of  Henry  Stewart,  Lord  Methven,  and  of 
Janet  Stewart,  of  the  House  of  Atholl.  We  find  no  trace 
of  issue  born  to  Margaret  Tudor  by  her  third  husband, 
Lord  Methven.  Yet  Gowrie's  emblem,  adopted  by  him  at 
Padua  in  1597,  and  his  device  left  in  the  Paduan  dancing 
school,  do  distinctly  point  to  some  wild  idea  of  his  that 
some  crown  or  other  was  '  for  him  alone.'  At  the  trial  of 
Gowrie's  father,  in  1584,  we  find  mention  of  his  '  chal- 
lenginge  that  honor  to  be  of  his  Hignes  blud,'  but  that 
must  refer  to  the  relationship  of  the  Euthvens  and  the 
King  through  the  Angus  branch  of  the  Douglases.1 

This  question  as  to  the  meaning  of  Gowrie's  emblem 
came  rather  early  into  the  controversy.  William  Sander- 
son, in  1656,  published  Lives  of  Mary  and  of  James  YI ;  he 
says  :  *  I  have  a  manuscript  which  relates  that,  in  Padua, 
the  Earl  of  Gowrie,  among  other  irnpressa  (sic)  in  a 
fencing  school,  caused  to  be  painted,  for  his  devise,  a  hand 
and  sword  aiming  at  a  crown.'  2  Mr.  Scott,  in  1818, 
replied  that  the  device,  with  the  Kuthven  arms,  '  is  en- 
graven on  a  stone  taken  from  Gowrie  House  in  Perth,  and 
preserved  in  the  house  of  Freeland '  (a  Euthven  house). 
There  is  also,  I  have  been  told,  a  seal  with  the  same 

Papers   relating    to    William,    first   Earl   of  Gowrie,    p.    30. 
(Privately  printed,  1867.)  2  Sanderson,  p.  226. 


engraving  upon  it,  which  probably  had  been  used  by  the 
Earls  of  Gowrie  and  by  their  predecessors,  the  Lords  of 
Kuthven.'1  But  we  know  of  no  such  seal  among  Gowrie  or 
Euthven  seals,  nor  do  we  know  the  date  of  the  engraving 
on  stone  cited  by  Mr.  Scott.  In  his  opinion  the  armed 
man  and  crown  might  be  an  addition  granted  by  James  III 
to  William,  first  Lord  Euthven,  in  1487-88.  Euthven 
took  the  part  of  the  unhappy  King,  who  was  mysteriously 
slain  near  Bannockburn.  Mr.  Scott  then  guesses  that  this 
addition  of  1488  implied  that  the  armed  man  pointed  his 
sword  at  the  crown,  and  exclaimed  Tibi  Soli,  meaning 
'  For  Thee,  0  James  III  alone,  not  for  thy  rebellious 
son,'  James  IV.  It  may  be  so,  but  we  have  no  evidence 
for  the  use  of  the  emblem  before  1597.  Moreover,  in 
Gowrie's  arms,  in  Workman's  MS.,  the  sword  is  sheathed. 
Again,  the  emblem  at  Padua  showed  a  '  black-a-more,'  or 
negro,  and  Sir  Eobert  Douglas  could  not  but  have  recog- 
nised that  the  device  was  only  part  of  the  ancestral 
Euthven  arms,  if  that  was  the  case.  The  '  black-a-more  ' 
was  horrifying  to  Ottavio  Baldi,  as  implying  a  dark 

Here  we  leave  the  additional  and  certainly  curious 
mystery  of  Gowrie's  claims,  as  '  shadowed '  in  his  chosen 
emblem.  I  know  not  if  it  be  germane  to  the  matter  to  add 
that  after  Bothwell,  in  1593,  had  seized  James,  by  the  aid 
of  our  Gowrie's  mother  and  sister,  he  uttered  a  singular 
hint  to  Toby  Matthew,  Dean  of  Durham.  He  intruded 
himself  on  the  horrified  Dean,  hot  from  his  successful  raid, 
described  with  much  humour  the  kidnapping  of  the  un- 
trussed  monarch,  and  let  it  be  understood  that  he  was 
under  the  protection  of  Elizabeth,  that  there  was  a  secret 
candidate  for  James's  crown,  and  that  he  expected  to  be 
himself  Lieutenant  of  the  realm  of  Scotland.  Bothwell 
was  closely  lie  with  Lady  Gowrie  (Dorothea  Stewart),  and 
our  Gowrie  presently  joined  him  in  a  '  band  '  to  serve 
Elizabeth  and  subdue  James.2 

1  Scott,  pp.  282,  284.  2  Border  Calendar,  vol.  i.  p.  491. 




(State  Papers,  Scotland  (Elizabeth),  vol.  Ixvi.  No.  52) 

The  verie  maner  of  the  Erll  of  Gowrie 
and  his  brother  their  death,  quha  war  killit 
at  Perth  the  fyft  of  August  by  the  kingis 
servanttis  his  Matie  being  present. 

Vpone  thurisday  the  last  of  July 

Perth  from  Strebrane 

bene  ahunting  accompainit  wtb 

purpose  to  have  ridden  to 

mother.     Bot  he  had  no  sooner 

....  aspersauit  fyn 

vpone   such  

addressit  thame  selffis 

thay  continewit  daylie 

Amangis  the  rest  Doctor  Herries  .  .  .  Satirday  the  first 

of   August  feinying   himself   to  .  .  of   purpose   to  .... 

and  my  lordis  house.     This  man  be  my  Lord  was  w  .  .  . 

and  convoyit  throche  .  .  the  house  and  the  secreit  pairts 

schawin  him. 

Vpon  tysday  my  [lordis  ?]  servanttis  vnderstanding  that  my 

[lord  ?]  was  to  ryde  to  Lot  [Lothian] obteinit  licence 

to  go  .  .  thair  effairis  and  to  prepare  thameselfis.     Whylk 

my  lord  wold  [not]  have  grantit  to  thame  if  they  .  .  .  any 

treason  in  ... 

The  same  day  Mr.  Alexander   being  send  for  be  the 

king  .  .  tymes   befoir,   raid   to   facland    accompaneit   wth 


Andro  Kuthven  and  Andro  Hendirson,  of  mynd  not  to  have 
returnit  .  .  .  bot  to  have  met  his  brother  my  lord  the  next 
morning  at  the  watter  syde.  And  Andro  Hendirsonis 
confessioun  testifeit  this  .  .  tuke  his  ludgeing  in  facland 
for  this  nygt. 

At  his  cuming  to  facland  he  learnit  that  his  Matie  was 
a  huntting,  quhair  eftir  brekfast  he  addrest  him  self.  And 
eftir  conference  w*  his  Matie,  he  directit  Andro  Hendirsone 
to  ryd  befoir,  and  schaw  my  lord  [that]  the  king  wald  come 
to  Perth  [for  ?]  quhat  occasion  he  knew  not,  and  desyrit 
him  to  haist  becaus  he  knew  my  lord  vnforsene  and 
vnprovydit  for  his  cuming. 

The  kingis  Matie  eftir  this  resolution  raid  to  Perth 
accompaneit  wtb  thrie  score  horse  quhair  (?)  threttie 
come  a  lytle  before  him remainit  .... 

My  lord  being  at  dennar  Andro  Hendirsone  cwmes 
and  sayis  to  his  Lordship  that  the  kingis  Matie  was  cum- 

mand.   My  lord  .  .  quhat  his  Matie his  hienes  was. 

The  vther  ansuris Then  my  Lord  caused 

discover  the  tabel  and  directit  his  Officeris  [inconti- 
nent ?]  to  go  to  the  towne  to  seik  prouision  for  his  Mateis 
dennare.  His  Lordship's  self  accompaneit  w"  fower  men  (?) 

twa  onlie  war  his  awin  servanttis  went  to  the 

south  .  .  of  Perth  to  meit  his  Matie  quhair  in  presence  of 
all  the  company  his  Matie  kyssit  my  lord  at  meitting. 

When  his  Matie  enterit  in  my  lordis  house  his  Maties 
awin  porteris  resavit  the  keyis  of  the  gaitt  .  .  ylk  thay 
keipit  quh  .  .  .  murther  was  endit. 

His  Mateis  self  commandit  to  haist  the  dennare  w*  all 
expedition  becaus  he  was  hungrie  eftir  huntting  quhilk  .  .  . 
....  the  schort  warning  and  suddentlie  dispaschit.  His 
Mateis  sendis  Mr.  Alexander  to  call  Sir  Thomas  Erskyne 
and  Jon  Eamsay  to  folow  him  to  the  challmer,  quhair  his 
Matie,  Sir  Thomas  Erskyne,  Jon  Eamsay,  Doctor  Hereis, 
and  Mr.  Wilsone  being  convenit  slew  [Mr.  Alexr]  and  threw 
him  down  the  stair,  how  and  for  quhat  cause  ....  thame 


selfis,    and   no   doubt   wald   reveill   if   thay  war   was  als 

straytlie  toyit  in  the  .  .  men kingis  servanttis 

cummes    to  the at   dennare   in    the   hall  the 

saying  my  lordis  will  ye calling 

for  horse at  his  Matics  .  .  .  suddaine  departure 

....  and  callit  for  his  horse  and  stayit  not  .... 
past  out  to  the  streit  qr  abyding  his  horse  he  hearis  His 
Matie  call  on  him  out  at  the  chalmer  window  niy  Lord 
of  Gowrie  traittoris  hes  murtherit  yor  brother  alreddie 
and  .  .  ye  suffir  me  to  be  murtherit  also.  My  Lord 
hering  yis  niakis  to  the  yait  (?)  quhair  himself  was  .  .  in 
and  Mr.  Thomas  Cranstoun  that  thrust  in  before  him, 
the  rest  was  excludit  by  violence  of  the  kingis  servanttis 
and  cumpany  quha  .  .  .  the  hous  and  yett.  My  lord 
being  in  at  the  yett  and  entering  in  the  turnpyck  to  pass 
vp  to  his  Matie  he  fand  his  brother  thrawin  down  y?  stairs 
dead.  And  when  he  came  to  the  chalmer  dure  M1'. 
Thomas  Cranstoun  being  before  him  was  stricken  throw 
the  body  twyse  and  drawin  bak  be  my  lord,  quha  enterit 
in  the  chalmer  calling  if  the  king  was  alyve,  bot  the  .  .  . 
quhylk  was  in  the  chalmer  .  .  .  him  w*  stroke  of  sworde, 
bot  being  unable  to  ovircum  him,  and  some  of  thame 
woundit,  they  promisit  him  to  lat  him  see  the  king  alyve 
according  to  his  desyre,  and  in  the  meantyme  he  croceing 
his  two  swordis  was  be  Jon  Ramsay  strok  throw  ye  body, 
and  falling  wtj  the  stroke  recommendit  his  saule  to  God, 
protesting  before  his  heavinlie  Matie  that  he  deit  his  trew 
subiect  and  the  kingis.  And  this  far  is  certanely  knawin 
&  collectit  pairtly  be  the  trew  affirmacione  of  sum  quha 
war  present  of  the  kingis  awin  folkis  and  last  of  all  be  the 
deposicionnis  of  M1'.  Thomas  Cranstoun,  George  Craigingelt, 
and  J.  (?)  Barroun,  quha  eftir  grevous  &  intolerable 
torturis  tuke  it  vponn  thair  saluaciun  &  damnatioun  that 
they  never  knew  the  Earle  of  Gowrie  to  carie  any  evill 
mynd  to  the  kyng  lat  be  to  intend  treasoun  against  him, 
bot  rather  wald  die  w1  that  that  the  Earle  of  Gowrie  his 


brother   and   thay   thame   selfis   deit    innocent : 

Hendersone  if  he  be  put  to  the  lyke  tryall  ....  bot  he 
will  confess  that  he  was  servind  the  Lordis  al  .  .  .  in  the 
hall  quhen  the  Mr  was  murtherit  and  quhen  the  kingis 
[servant?]  broght  the  newis  that  his  Matie  was  away  & 
fra  that  I  hear  ....  that  he  was  sene  till  the  king 
causit  him  to  come  vponn  promeis  that  his  lyfe  and 
landis  suld  be  saif,  for  quhat  cause  the  effect  will  .... 
As  for  the  buke  of  Necromancie  whiche  was  alledgit  to 
have  bene  deprehendit  on  my  lord  it  (?)  was  proposeit  to 
the  earles  pedagog  Mr.  Wr  Eind  (?),  quha  schawis  that 
he  knew  my  lord  to  have  ane  memoriall  buik  quhairin  he 
wreat  all  the  notable  thingis  he  learned  in  his  absence, 
ather  be  sicht  or  hearing,  bot  as  for  any  buik  of  Necro- 
mancie nor  his  medling  wl  necromanceis  he  never  knew 

It  may  be  my  gude  Lord  governo1'  that  the  maner  of 
the  earle  of  Gowrie  and  his  brotheris  death  befoir  writtin 
be  so  far  frorne  yor  honoure  in  mynd  that  yt  (?)  may  move 
farther  doubtes  to  aryse  theryn.  The  cause  hereof  I 
vnderstand  is  pairtlie  the  difference  of  the  last  report 
frome  the  reporttis  preceidding  in  that  it  determines  na 
thing  concerning  the  cause  of  his  Maties  sending  for  the 

Mr  of  Gowrie  nor  concerning.  .  .  .  speiches  and 

and  in  the  chalmer.  .  .  .  pairtlie  becaus prevaile 

or  speik  against  his  Matie  albeit  thay  kowe 

....  some  thair  be  that  corse.  .  .  apat  (?)  to  his  Matie3 
sayingis  that  thay  will  swear  thame  all  albeit  thair  con- 
sciences persuade  thame  of  [the]  contrair.  Sua  it  is  hard 
for  yor  Lordship  to  be  resoluit  be  reporttis.  Bot  if  it  will 
pleas  yor  Lordship  to  be  acquent  w*  the  causis  and  inci- 
dentis  preceidding  this  dolorous  effect,  I  hoip  yor  Lord- 
ship wilbe  the  rnair  easilie  persuadit  of  the  treuth.  And 
first  of  all  the  evill  mynd  careit  be  my  lord.  .  .  .  Colonel  (?) 
Stewart  and  his  privie  complaint  &  informacioune  to  his 
Matie  thair  anent. 


Secondlie  the  opposition  laid  (?)  be  my  lord  himself  in 
the  Conventioun  and  be  the  barronnis,  as  is  thocht  be  his 
instigacioun,  against  (?)  his  Matie. 

Thirdlie  the  great  haitrent  and  envy  of  the  courtieris  in 
particularis,  quha  had  persavit  him  to  be  ane  great  staye 
of  thair  coninioditie,  and  sa  be  fals  reportis  and  calumneis 
did  go  about  to  kendle  and  incense  his  Maties  wrath  against 
him  privilie. 

And  fourtlie  the  over  great  expectatioune  the  Kirk 
and  cuntrie  had  of  him  wl  ane  singular  lowe  preceding  yr 
fra  and  vther  causis  qlk  is  not  neidfull  to  be  exprest.  All 
these  causis  makis  the  kingis  pairt  to  be  deadlie  suspected 
be  those  quha  knawis  thame  to  be  of  veritie. 

As  for  my  lordis  pairt  if  yor  Lordship  knew  how  weill 
he  was  trainit  be  Mr  Eobert  Eollok  ane  of  the  godliest 
men  in  Scotland  at  scoolis,  and  quhat  testificatioun  of  gude 
inclinacioun  and  behaviour  he  had  ressauit  fra  him  yor 
honor  wald  hardlie  beleue  him  a  traito1'. 

Secondlie  if  yor  Lordship  knew  w*  quhat  accompt  and 
good  opinioun  of  all  gude  men  he  passit  sobirlie  and  quyetlie 
out  of  his.  .  .  .  how  wiselie  and  godlie  he  behauit  him  self 
in  all  natiounis  quhairsoever  he  come,  how  he  sufferit  in 

Eome  itself.  .  .  .  for  the  treuth  of  his  religion as 

I  am  sure  he.  ...  be  suspect  to  be  a  traittor. 

Thirdlie  to  quhat  end  suld  my  lord  of  Gourie  have 
maid  hes  leving  frie,  brocht  hame  furniture  and  orna- 
menttis  for  his  hous  and  payit  all  his.  .  .  fatheris  debtis 
and  setlit  himself  to  be  a  gude  iusticiar  in  his  awin  landis 
as  is  notoriouslie  knawin  gif  w'in  the  space  of  twa 
monethis  haveing  scairslie.  .  .  .  countrie  he  suld  resolue 

to &  murther  his  Prince   be.  .  .  cause  and  sa  to 

quyt  his  countrie  his    leving  his  welth  his.  ...  &  lyfe, 
lat  be  the  ruitting  out  of  his  name  &  posteritie  for  evir. 




[Preserved  in  the  General  Register  House,  Edinburgh] 

(1)  Robert  Logan  of  Eestalrig  to  .  .  .  . 

Rycht  Honorabill  Sir, — My  dewty  with  servise  remem- 
bred.  Pleise  yow  onderstand,  my  Lo.  of  Gowry  and  some 
vtheris  his  Lo.  frendis  and  veill  villeris,  qha  tendaris  his 
Lo.  better  preferment,  ar  vpon  the  resolucion  ye  knaw, 
for  the  revenge  of  that  cawse  ;  and  his  Lo.  hes  vrettin  to 
me  anent  that  purpose,  qhairto  I  vill  accorde,  incase  ye  vill 
stand  to  and  beir  a  part :  and  befoir  ye  resolve,  meet  me 
and  M.A.E.  in  the  Cannogat  on  Tysday  the  nixt  owk,  and 
be  als  var  as  ye  kan.  Indeid  M.A.R.  spak  with  me  fowr 
or  fywe  dayis  syn,  and  I  hew  promised  his  Lo.  ane  answar 
within  ten  dayis  at  farrest.  As  for  the  purpose  how 
M.A.R.  and  I  hes  sett  down  the  cowrse,  it  vill  be  ane  very 
esy  done  twrne,  and  nocht  far  by  that  forme,  vith  the  lyke 
stratagem,  qhairof  ve  had  conference  in  Cap.  h.  Bot  incase 
ye  and  M.A.R.  forgader,  becawse  he  is  someqhat  consety,  for 
Godis  saik  be  very  var  vith  his  raklese  toyis  of  Padoa  :  For 
he  tald  me  ane  of  the  strangest  taillis  of  ane  nobill  man  of 
Padoa  that  ever  I  hard  in  my  lyf,  resembling  the  lyk  purpose. 
I  pray  yow,  Sir,  think  nathing  althocht  this  berare  onder- 
stand of  it,  for  he  is  the  special  secretair  of  my  lyf ;  His 
name  is  Lard  Bower,  and  vas  aid  Manderstonis  man  for 
deid  and  lyf,  and  evin  so  now  for  me.  And  for  my  awin 
part,  he  sail  knaw  of  all  that  I  do  in  this  varld,  so  lang  as 



ve  leif  togidder,  for  I  mak  him  my  howsehald  man  :  He  is 
veill  vorthy  of  credit,  and  I  recommend  him  to  yow. 
Alvyse  to  the  purpose,  I  think  best  for  our  plat  that  ve 
meet  all  at  my  house  of  Fastcastell ;  for  I  hew  concludit 
with  M.A.R.  how  I  think  it  sail  be  meittest  to  be  convoyit 
quyetest  in  ane  bote,  be  sey  ;  at  qhilk  tyrne  vpon  swre 
adwartisment  I  sail  hew  the  place  very  quyet  and  veill 
provydit ;  and  as  I  receve  yowr  answer  I  vill  post  this 
berair  to  my  Lo.  and  therfoir  I  pray  yow.  as  ye  luf  yowr 
awin  lyf,  becawse  it  is  nocht  ane  matter  of  mowise,  be 
circumspect  in  all  thingis,  and  tak  na  feir  bot  all  sail  be 
veill.  I  hew  na  vill  that  ather  my  brother  or  yit  M.W.R. 
niy  Lo.  aid  pedagog  knaw  ony  thing  of  the  matter,  qhill 
all  be  done  that  ve  vald  hew  done  ;  and  thane  I  cair  nocht 
qha  get  vit,  that  lufis  vs.  Qhen  ye  hew  red,  send  this  my 
letter  bak  agane  vith  the  berar,  that  I  may  se  it  brunt 
my  self,  for  sa  is  the  fasson  in  sic  errandis ;  and  if  ye 
please,  vryyt  our  (?)  answer  on  the  bak  herof,  incase  ye  vill 
tak  my  vord  for  the  credit  of  the  berair  :  and  vse  all  ex- 
pedicioun,  for  the  twrne  vald  nocht  be  lang  delayit.  Ye 
knaw  the  kingis  hwnting  vill  be  schortly,  and  than  sail  be 
best  tyme,  as  M.A.R.  has  asswred  me,  that  my  Lo.  has 
resolved  to  interpryse  that  matter.  Lwking  for  yowr 
answer,  conimittis  yow  to  Chrystis  haly  protectioun. 
Frome  Fastcastell,  the  awchtan  day  of  July  1600. 

(Sic  subscribitur)  Yowris  to  vtter  power  redy 


On  the  back  '  Sprott,'  '  bookit '  (2). 

(2)  Robert  Logan  of  Eestalrig  to  Laird  Bower. 

Lard  Bower, — I  pray  yow  hast  yow  hast  to  me  abowt 
the  erand  I  tald  yow,  and  ve  sail  confer  at  lenth  of  all 
thingis.  I  hew  recevit  an  new  letter  fra  my  Lo(rd)  of 
Go(wrie)  concerning  the  purpose  that  M.A.  his  Lo.  brothir 
spak  to  me  befoir,  and  I  perseif  I  may  hew  avantage  of 


Dirleton,  incase  his  other  matter  tak  effect,  as  ve  hope  it 
sail.  Alvayse  I  beseik  yow  be  at  me  the  morne  at  evin,  for 
I  hew  asswred  his  lo.  servand,  that  I  sail  send  yow  over  the 
vatter  vithin  thre  dayis,  vith  an  full  resolucion  of  all  my 
vill,  anent  all  purposes  ;  As  I  sail  indeid  recommend  yow 
and  yowr  trustiness  till  his  lo.  as  ye  sail  find  an  honest 
recompense  for  yowr  panes  in  the  end.  I  cair  nocht  for 
all  the  land  I  hew  in  this  kingdome,  incase  I  get  an  grip 
of  Dirleton,  for  I  estem  it  the  plesantest  dwelling  in 
Scotland.  For  Goddis  cawse,  keip  all  thingis  very  secret, 
that  my  lo.  my  brothir  get  na  knawlege  of  owr  purposes, 
for  I  (wald  ?)  rather  be  eirdit  quik.  And  swa  Iwking  for 
yow,  I  rest  till  meitting.  Fra  the  Kannogait,  the  xviij  day 
of  July. 

(Sic  subscribitur)  Yowris  to  power  redy 


I  am  verie  ill  at  eise  and  thairfoir  speid  yow  hither. 
On  the  back  '  Sprott,'  '  Secund,'  <  bookit.' 

(3)  Robert  Logan  of  Restalrig  to.  .  .  . 

Eycht  honorable  Sir, — All  my  hartly  duty  vith  humbill 
servise  remembred.  Sen  I  hew  takin  on  hand  to  inter  - 
pryse  vith  my  lo(rd)  of  Go(wrie)  yowr  speciall  and  only  best 
belowed,  as  ve  hew  set  down  the  plat  alredy,  I  vill 
request  yow  that  ye  vill  be  very  circumspek  and  vyse,  that 
na  man  may  get  ane  avantage  of  vs.  I  dowt  nocht  bot 
ye  knaw  the  perell  to  be  bayth  lyf ,  land  and  honowr,  incase 
the  mater  be  nocht  vyslie  vsed  :  And  for  my  avin  part, 
I  sail  hew  an  speciall  respek  to  my  promise  that  I  hew  maid 
till  his  Lo.  and  M.A.  his  lo(rdschipis)  brother,  althocht 
the  skafald  var  set  vp.  If  I  kan  nocht  vin  to  Fakland  the 
first  nycht,  I  sail  be  tymelie  in  SL  Johnestoun  on  the 
morne.  Indeid  I  lipnit  for  my  lo(rd)  himself  or  ellise 
M.A.  his  lo.  brother  at  my  howse  of  Fast(castell)  as  I  vret 
to  them  bayth.  Alwyse  I  repose  on  yowr  advertysment  of 



the  precyse  day,  vith  credit  to  the  berar  :  for  howbeit  he 
be  bot  ane  silly  aid  gleyd  carle,  I  vill  answer  for  him  that 
he  sail  be  very  trew.  I  pray  yow,  sir,  reid  and  ather 
bwrne  or  send  agane  vith  the  berare ;  for  I  dar  haserd  my 
lyf  and  all  I  hew  ellise  in  the  varld  on  his  message,  I  hew 
sik  pruif  of  his  constant  trewth.  Sa  committis  yow  to 
Chrystis  holy  protectioun.  Frome  the  Kannogait  the  xxvij 
day  of  July  1600. 
(Sic  subscribitur) 

Yowris  till  all  power  v*  humbill  servise  redy 


I  vse  nocht  to  vryt  on  the  bak  of  ony  of  my  letteris 
concerning  this  errand. 

On  the  back  '  Sprott,'  '  bookit '  (3). 

(4)  Robert  Logan  of  Restalrig  to  the  Earl  of  Gowrie. 

My  Lo. — My  rnaist  humbill  dewtie  vith  servise  in  maist 
hartly  maner  remernbred.  At  the  resset  of  yowr  lo(rd- 
schipis]  letter  I  am  so  comforted,  especially  at  your  Lo  : 
purpose  communicated  onto  me  thairin,  that  I  kan  nather 
vtter  my  joy  nor  find  myself  habill  how  to  enconter  yowr 
lo.  vith  dew  thankis.  Indeid  my  lo.  at  my  being  last  in  the 
town  M.A.  your  lo.  brother  imperted  somqhat  of  yowr 
lo(rdschipis)  intentioun  anent  that  matter  onto  me  ;  and  if  I 
had  nocht  bene  busyed  abowt  sum  turnis  of  my  avin,  I  thoght 
till  hew  cummit  over  to  S.  Jo.  and  spokin  vith  your  lo(rd- 
schip).  Yit  alvayse  my  lo.  I  beseik  your  lo.  bayth  for  the 
saifty  of  yowr  honowr,  credit  and  mair  nor  that,  yowr  lyf, 
my  lyf,  and  the  lyfis  of  rnony  otheris  qha  may  perhapis 
innocently  smart  for  that  turne  eftirwartis,  incase  it  be 
reveilled  be  ony  ;  and  lykvyse,  the  vtter  vraking  of  our 
landis  and  howsis,  and  extirpating  of  owr  names,  Iwke  that 
ve  be  all  alse  sure  as  yowr  lo.  and  I  myself  sail  be  for  my 
avin  part,  and  than  I  dowt  nocht,  bot  vith  Godis  g(race)  we 


sail  bring  our  matter  till  ane  fine,  qhilk  sail  bring  con- 
tentment to  vs  all  that  ever  vissed  for  the  revenge  of  the 
Maschevalent  massakering  of  our  deirest  frendis.  I  dowt 
nocht  bot  M.A.  yowr  lo.  brother  hes  informed  yowr  lo. 
qhat  cowrse  I  laid  down,  to  bring  all  your  lo(rdschipis) 
associatis  to  my  howse  of  Fast(castell)  be  sey,  qhair  I  suld 
hew  all  materiallis  in  reddyness  for  thair  saif  recayving  a 
land,  and  into  my  howse  ;  making  as  it  ver  bot  a  maner 
of  passing  time,  in  ane  bote  on  the  sey,  in  this  fair  somer 
tyde ;  and  nane  other  strangeris  to  hant  my  howse,  qhill 
ve  had  concluded  on  the  laying  of  owr  plat,  quhilk  is 
alredy  devysed  be  M.A.  and  me.  And  I  vald  viss  that 
yowr  lo.  wald  ather  come  or  send  M.A.  to  me,  and  thareftir 
I  sowld  meit  yowr  lo.  in  Leith,  or  quyetly  in  Eestal(rig) 
qhair  ve  sowld  hew  prepared  ane  fyne  hattit  kit,  vfc  succar, 
comfeitis,  and  vyn  ;  and  thereftir  confer  on  matteris.  And 
the  soner  ve  broght  owr  purpose  to  pass  it  ver  the  better, 
before  harwest.  Let  nocht  M.W.E.  yowr  awld  pedagog  ken 
of  your  comrning,  bot  rather  vald  I,  if  I  durst  be  so  bald, 
to  intreit  yowr  lo.  anis  to  come  and  se  my  avin  howse, 
qhair  I  hew  keipit  my  lo(rd)  Bo(thwell)  in  his  gretest  ex- 
tremityis,  say  the  King  and  his  consell  qhat  they  vald. 
And  incase  God  grant  vs  ane  hapy  swccess  in  this  errand, 
I  hope  baith  to  haif  yowr  lo.  and  his  lo.,  vith  mony  otheris 
of  yowr  loveries  and  his,  at  ane  gude  dyner,  before  I  dy. 
Alvyse  I  hope  that  the  K(ingis)  bwk  hunting  at  Falkland, 
this  yeir,  sail  prepair  sum  daynty  cheir  for  ws,  agan  that 
dinner  the  nixt  yeir.  Hoc  jocose,  till  animat  yowr  lo.  at 
this  tyme  ;  bot  eftirvartis,  ve  sail  hew  better  occasion  to 
mak  mery.  I  protest,  my  lo.  before  God,  I  viss  nathing 
vith  a  better  hart,  nor  to  atchive  to  that  qhilk  yowr  lo.  vald 
fane  atteyn  onto  ;  and  my  continewall  prayer  sail  tend  to 
that  effect ;  and  vith  the  large  spending  of  my  landis  gudis, 
yea  the  haserd  of  my  lyf,  sail  not  afray  me  fra  that, 
althocht  the  skaffold  var  alredy  sett  vp,  befoir  I  sowld 
falsify  my  promise  to  yowr  lo.  and  perswade  yowr  lo(rd- 


schip)  therof.  I  trow  yowr  lo.  lies  ane  pruife  of  my  con- 
stancy alredy  or  now.  Bot  my  lo.  qharas  your  lo.  desyris 
in  yowr  letter,  that  I  craif  rny  lo.  my  brotheris  mynd  anent 
this  matter,  I  alvterly  disasent  fra  that  that  he  sowld  ever 
be  ane  counsalowr  therto  ;  for  in  gude  fayth,  he  vill  newer 
help  his  frend  nor  harrne  his  fo.  Yowr  lo.  may  confyde 
mair  in  this  aid  man,  the  beirer  heir  of,  my  man  La(ird) 
Bowr,  nor  in  my  brother  ;  for  I  lippin  my  lyf  and  all  I 
hew  ells  in  his  handis  ;  and  I  trow  he  vald  nocht  spair  to 
ryde  to  Hellis  yet  to  plesour  me ;  and  he  is  nocht  begylit 
of  my  pairt  to  him.  Alvjse,  my  lo.  qhen  yowr  lo.  hes  red 
my  letter,  delyver  it  to  the  berair  agane,  that  I  ma}r  se  it 
brunt  vith  my  awin  ein  ;  as  I  hew  sent  yowr  Lo :  letter  to 
yowr  Lo.  agane  ;  for  so  is  the  fassone  I  grant.  And  I  pray 
yowr  lo.  rest  fully  perswaded  of  me  and  all  that  I  hew 
prornesed ;  for  I  am  resolved,  howbeit  it  ver  to  dy  the 
rnorne.  I  man  intreit  yowr  lo.  to  expede  Bowr,  and  gif 
him  strait  directioun,  on  payn  of  his  lyf,  that  he  tak  never 
ane  vink  sleip,  qhill  he  se  me  agane  ;  or  ellise  he  vill 
vtterly  vndo  vs.  I  hew  alredy  sent  an  other  letter  to  the 
gentill  man  yowr  lo.  kennis,  as  the  berare  vill  informe  yowr 
lo.  of  his  answer  and  forvardness  vith  yowr  lo. ;  and  I  sail 
schaw  yowr  lo.  forder,  at  meting,  qhen  and  qhair  yowr  lo. 
sail  think  meittest.  To  qhilk  tyrne  and  ever  committis 
yowr  lo.  to  the  proteccioun  of  the  Almychtie  God.  From 
Gwnisgrene,  the  twenty  nynt  of  Julij  1600. 

(Sic  subscribitur)     Your  lo.  awin  sworne  and  bundman 

to  obey  and  serve  vt  efauld  and  ever  redy  seruise 

to  his  vttir  power  till  his  lyfis  end. 


Prayis  yowr  lo.  hald  me  excused  for  my  vnsemly 
letter,  qhilk  is  nocht  sa  veil  vrettin  as  mister  var  :  For 
I  durst  nocht  let  ony  of  my  vryteris  ken  of  it,  but  tuke 
twa  syndry  ydill  dayis  to  it  my  self. 

I  vill  never  foryet  the  gude  sporte  that  M.A.  yowr  lo: 


brother  tald  me  of  ane  nobill  man  of  Padoa,  it  comiss  sa 
oft  to  my  memory.  And  indeid  it  is  a  parastevr  to  this 
purpose  ve  hew  in  hand. 

On  the  back  '  Sprott,'  '  bookit '  (4). 

(5)  Robert  Logan  of  Restalrig  to 

Rycht  honor abill  Sir, — My  hartly  dewty  remembred.  Ye 
knaw  I  tald  yow  at  owr  last  meitting  in  the  Cannogat  that 
M.A.K.  my  lo.  of  Go(wries)  brother  had  spokin  vith  me, 
anent  the  matter  of  owr  conclusion ;  and  for  my  awin  part 
I  sail  nocht  be  hindmest ;  and  sensyne  I  gat  ane  letter 
from  his  lo.  selff,  for  that  same  purpose ;  and  apon  the 
resset  tharof ,  onderstanding  his  lo.  frankness  and  fordvard- 
ness  in  it,  God  kennis  if  my  hart  vas  nocht  liftit  ten 
stagess  !  I  postit  this  same  berare  till  his  lo.  to  qhome  ye 
may  concredit  ail  yowr  hart  in  that  asveill  as  I ;  for  and  it 
var  my  very  sowl,  I  durst  mak  him  messinger  therof,  I 
hew  sic  experiense  of  his  treuth  in  mony  other  thingis : 
He  is  ane  silly  aid  gleyd  carle,  hot  vender  honest :  And  as 
he  hes  reportit  to  me  his  lo.  awin  answer,  I  think  all 
matteris  sail  be  concluded  at  my  howse  of  Fa(stcastell) ; 
for  I  and  M.A.R.  conclude  that  ye  sowld  come  vith  him  and 
his  lo.  and  only  ane  other  man  vith  yow,  being  bot  only  fowr 
in  company,  intill  ane  of  the  gret  fisching  botis,  be  sey  to 
my  howse,  qher  ye  sail  land  as  saifly  as  on  Leyth  schoir  ; 
and  the  howse  agane  his  lo.  comming  to  be  quyet :  And 
qhen  ye  ar  abowt  half  a  rnyll  fra  schoir,  as  it  ver  passing 
by  the  howse,  to  gar  set  forth  ane  vaf.  Bot  for  Godis 
sek,  let  nether  ony  knawlege  come  to  my  lo.  my  brotheris 
eiris,  nor  yit  to  M.W.R.  my  lo.  aid  pedagog ;  for  my 
brother  is  kittill  to  scho  behind,  and  dar  nocht  interpryse, 
for  feir ;  and  the  other  vill  disswade  vs  fra  owr  purpose 
vith  ressonis  of  religion,  qhilk  I  can  newer  abyd.  I  think 
thar  is  nane  of  a  nobill  hart,  or  caryis  ane  stomak  vorth 
an  pini,  bot  they  vald  be  glad  to  se  ane  contented  revenge 


of  Gray  Steillis  deid :  And  the  sorter  the  better,  or  ellse  ve 
may  be  marrit  and  frustrat ;  and  therfor,  pray  his  lo(rd- 
schip)  be  qwik  and  bid  M.A.  remember  on  the  sport  he  tald 
me  of  Padoa  ;  for  I  think  vith  my  self  that  the  cogitacion  on 
that  sowld  stimulat  his  lo(rdschip).  And  for  Godis  cawse 
vse  all  yowr  cowrses  cum  discrecione.  Fell  nocht,  sir, 
to  send  bak  agan  this  letter  ;  for  M.A.  leirit  me  that 
fasson,  that  I  may  se  it  distroyed  my  self.  Sa  till  your 
comming,  and  ever,  committis  yow  hartely  to  Chrystis  holy 
protection.  From  Gwnisgrene,  the  last  of  July  1600. 

On   the  back   'xiij  Aprilis  1608  producit   be   Ninian 
Chirnesyde  (8).' 

Also  '  Sprott,'  '  Fyft.  bookit.' 


ABBOT,  Dr.  George,  present  when 
Sprot  was  hanged,  177,  226 ; 
his  pamphlet  containing  official 
account  of  Sprot's  trial  and  ex- 
aminations, 178 

Abercromby,  Eobert  (the  King's 
saddler),  said  to  have  brought 
James  to  Perth  to  '  take  order 
for  his  debt,'  83,  84,  159 

Agnew,  Sir  Stair,  cited,  241 

Analysis  of  Letter  IV,  232-239 

Anderson,  Eev.  Mr.,  finds  the 
torn  letter  from  Logan  to 
Chirnside,  174 ;  on  Letter  IV., 
236,  237,  238;  on  the  Logan 
plot-letters,  241,  242,  243 

Angus,  Earl  of,  involves  Gowrie's 
father    in    a    conspiracy   with  ! 
him,  121, 122  ;  under  the  spells 
of  witchcraft,  198,  199 

Anne  of  Denmark,  Queen  (wife 
of  James  VI),  her  attributed 
relations  with  the  Earl  Moray, 
2;  and  with  Gowrie  and  the 
Master  of  Euthven,  3,  133,  134, 
138 ;  romantic  story  of  her 
ribbon  on  the  Master's  neck, 
132  ;  invites  Gowrie  to  Court, 
133,  134 ;  sorrow  for  the  slay- 
ing of  the  Euthvens,  5,  133, 
138;  plots  against  the  Earl  of 
Mar,  138,  139 

Arms,  Gowrie's,  245  et  seq. 

Arnott,  Sir  John  (provost  of  Edin- 
burgh), on  the  Logan  plot- 
letters,  243 ;  at  the  trial  of 
Logan,  250 

Arran  (Capt.  James  Stewart),  his 

influence  over  James,  119  ;  his 
treachery  to  Gowrie's  father, 
120-123 ;  receives  that  noble- 
man's forfeited  estate,  123 ; 
driven  into  retirement,  123 

Arran,  Earl  of,  Bothwell's  (James 
Hepburn)  proposal  to  him  to 
seize  Mary,  cited,  71 

Ashfield,  kidnapped  by  Lord  Wil- 
loughby,  cited,  139 

Atholl,  Earl  of  ^married  to  Gow- 
rie's sister  Mary),  123 ;  in 
alliance  with  Bothwell  and 
Gowrie  against  James,  125  ; 
manifesto  to  the  Kirk,  125  ; 
letters  from  James,  134,  135 

Auchmuty,  John,  in  attendance 
on  James,  12 

BAILLIE,  John,  of  Littlegill,  im- 
plicated by  Sprot  with  Logan, 
202,  203 ;  denies  receiving  a 
letter  from  Logan,  209 

Baldi,  Ottavio,  his  letter  to  James 
on  the  Gowrie  emblem  at 
Padua,  246,  247,  251 

Balgonie.  See  Graham  of  Bal- 

Barbe,  Mr.  Louis,  on  Henderson's 
and  the  Master's  ride  to  Falk- 
land, 45  ;  his  view  of  the  notary 
Eobertson's  evidence  respect- 
ing Henderson,  61  note  ;  as  to 
the  theory  of  an  accidental 
brawl,  94 ;  on  James  and  the 
pot  of  gold  tale,  95  ;  on  Bruce's 
interrogation  of  the  King,  109  ; 



on  the  invitation  from  the  King 
to  Gowrie,  Atholl,  and  others  to 
join  him  at  Falkland,  135 

Baron  (Gowrie's  retainer),  in  the 
chamber  fight,  87  ;  hanged,  87 

Bell,  John,  Logan's  memorandum 
to  him,  174,  195 

Beza,  Gowrie  with,  at  Geneva,  130 

Bisset,  Mr.,  quoted,  on  the  notary 
Kobertson's  evidence  respecting 
Henderson,  61  note 

Bothwell,  Francis  Stewart  Earl 
of,  aided  by  Gowrie's  mother 
and  sister  captures  James  at 
Holyrood,  124,  125 ;  manifesto 
to  the  Kirk,  125 ;  his  list  of 
Scottish  Catholic  nobles  ready 
for  the  invasion  of  Scotland, 
128 ;  other  proposals  of  inva- 
sion, 129 ;  vague  hints  at  his 
aim  to  change  the  dynasty, 
140;  his  whereabouts  in  1600, 
147  note  ;  on  terms  with  Logan 
of  Bestahig,  154,  155,  156 ; 
charged  with  practising  witch- 
craft against  the  King's  life, 
198  ;  report  as  to  a  secret  can- 
didate for  James's  crown,  251 

Bothwell,  James  Hepburn  Earl 
of,  his  proposal  to  Arran  to 
seize  Mary,  cited,  71 

Bower,  James  (a  retainer  of 
Logan's),  custodian  of  com- 
promising letters  between  Lo- 
gan and  Gowrie,  164,  174,  176, 
177,  195 ;  bearer  of  Gowrie's 
letter  to  Logan,  183,  188,  191 ; 
letter  from  Logan,  183,  184; 
Sprot's  account  of  Logan  and 
Bower's  scheme  to  get  posses- 
sion of  Dirleton,  189  ;  with 
Logan  at  Coldiugharne  after 
the  tragedy,  195 ;  custodian  of 
Ruthven's  and  Clerk's  letters 
to  Logan,  202 ;  blamed  for  the 
selling  of  Fastcastle,  204  ;  letter 
from  Logan  reproaching  him  for 
indiscretions  of  speech,  211,  212 

Bower,  Valentine,  employed  by 
his  father  James  to  read  Logan's 
letters,  213 

Bowes,     Sir    William      (English 

Ambassador),  no  friend  of 
James's,  96 ;  his  hypothesis 
respecting  the  Gowrie  tragedy, 
96  ;  letter  to  Sir  John  Stanhope 
on  same  matter,  97  note 

Brown,  Professor  Hume,  on  the 
Logan  plot-letters,  241 

Brown,  Robert  (James's  servant), 
part  in  the  Gowrie  mystery.  31 

Bruce,  Rev.  Robert  (Presbyterian 
minister),  his  cross-examina- 
tion of  James  on  the  Gowrie 
tragedy,  38  ;  allows  that  James 
was  not  a  conspirator,  95  ;  ex- 
plains to  James  the  reasons 
for  the  preachers'  refusal  to 
thank  God  for  his  delivery 
from  a  '  plot,'  101  ;  sceptical 
of  the  veracity  of  James's  nar- 
rative, 102,  103  ;  will  believe  it 
if  Henderson  is  hanged,  103, 
104,  106,  226  ;  goes  into  banish- 
ment, 105  ;  tells  Mar  in  Lon- 
don he  is  content  to  abide  by 
the  verdict  in  the  Gowrie  case, 
but  is  not  persuaded  of  Gowrie's 
guilt,  105 ;  meets  the  King  in 
Scotland,  and  tells  him  he  is 
convinced,  on  Mar's  oath,  that 
he  is  innocent,  106 ;  inter- 
rogates the  King,  107  ;  refuses 
to  make  a  public  apology  in 
the  pulpit  and  is  banished  to 
Inverness,  108, 250  ;  his  '  Medi- 
tations,' 110  note  ;  asks  Lord 
Hamilton  to  head  the  party  of 
the  Kirk,  177  ;  prophecies,  249 

Burnet  (Burnet's  father),  on  the 
Gowrie  mystery,  249,  250 

Burnet,  Bishop,  quoted,  on 
Gowrie's  claims  to  a  Royal 
pedigree,  249,  250 

Burton,  Dr.  Hill,  on  James  VI, 
5  ;  on  Logan's  plot-letters,  169 

CALDERWOOD,  Rev.  David  (Pres- 
byterian minister),  on  James's 
narrative  of  the  Gowrie  affair, 
36,  37 ;  on  the  man  in  the 
turret,  62  ;  rejects  the  story  of 
Craigengelt's  dying  confession, 



104 ;  view  of  the  objections 
taken  by  sceptics  to  the  King's 
narrative,  111 ;  on Gowrie's entry 
to  Edinburgh,  130 ;  on  the  con- 
fession of  Sprot  on  the  scaffold, 
168,  164  note,  227;  his  inter- 
pretation of  Sprot's  confession, 
164 ;  on  the  Logan  plot-letters, 
170,  172,  173 

Cant,  Mr.  (antiquary),  on  Gowrie 
House,  18 

Carey,  Sir  John  (Governor  of 
Berwick),  respecting  a  treatise 
in  vindication  of  the  Euthvens, 
81 ;  informs  Cecil  of  James's 
jealousy  of  Gowrie,  130 ;  and 
of  the  Court  tattle  respecting 
the  Queen  and  Gowrie,  133 

Casket  Letters,  the,  cited,  5,7,8; 
in  possession  of  Gowrie's  father, 
240 ;  disappearance  of,  241 ; 
probability  of  forgery,  244 

Cecil  Papers  at  Hatfield,  the,  158 

Cecil,  Sir  Eobert,  Queen  Eliza- 
beth's minister,  11 ;  communi- 
cation from  Nicholson  respecting 
Craiistoun  and  Henderson,  75 
note  ;  letter  from  Carey  respect- 
ing a  treatise  in  vindication  of 
the  Euthvens,  81 ;  intrigue  with 
Bothwell,  147  note ;  with  Border 
Scots  intriguing  against  James, 
159,  160;  Lord  Willoughby's 
offer  of  a  ship  if  subsidised,  218 

Chirnside,  Ixinian,  of  Whitsum- 
laws,  154 ;  Logan's  letter  to 
him,  174  ;  relations  with  Logan, 
197,  199;  employed  by  Both- 
well  to  arrange  meetings  with 
the  wizard  Graham,  198,  199 ; 
in  danger  after  the  failure  of 
the  Gowrie  plot,  203  ;  Sprot's 
forged  letter  of  Logan's  to  be 
used  by  him  for  blackmailing 
Logan's  executors,  215 

Christie,  porter  at  Gowrie  House 
on  the  fatal  day,  21 

Clerk,  Father  Andrew  (Jesuit),  in- 
triguing against  James,  201,  212 

Coat  of  arms,  Gowrie's,  245  etseq. 

Colville,  John,  tells  Cecil  of 
Gowrie's  summons  to  be  leader 

of  the  Kirk,  129 ;  schemes 
against  James,  140,  146,  155 ; 
renounces  Frank  Bothwell,  198 

Corsar,  John,  cited,  211 

Cowper,  Eev.  Mr.  (minister  of 
Perth),  on  Gowrie's  views  as  to 
secrecy  in  plots,  144 

Craigengelt  (Gowrie's  steward), 
his  evidence  regarding  the 
Master's  ride  to  Falkland,  44; 
observation  of  the  Master  while 
the  King  dines,  49 ;  at  the 
dinner,  65,  83,  84 ;  his  con- 
fession before  execution,  103, 
104  ;  denial  of  receipt  of  letters 
from  James  to  Gowrie,  134, 

135  note  ;  on  the  movements  of 
the  Gowries  before  the  tragedy, 

136  ;  hanged,  87 
Cranstoun     of     Cranstoun,      Sir 

John,  154 

Cranstoun  Bidden,  Laird  of, 
(Logan's  father-in-law),  153 

Cranstoun,  Thomas  (Gowrie's 
equerry),  his  share  in  the 
transactions  at  Gowrie  House 
which  brought  about  the 
slaughter  of  the  Euthvens,  20, 
21,  23,  27,  28,  29,  30,  31; 
wounded  by  Earnsay,  74,  85 ; 
examined,  tortured,  tried,  and 
hanged  at  Perth,  74,  87,  155  ; 
an  outlawed  rebel  and  adherent 
of  Bothwell,  74  note,  155 

Cranstoun,  Win.  (Bothwellian),155 

Crockett,  Willie,  one  of  Sprot's 
victims,  203 ;  his  account  of 
Logan's  Yule  at  Gunnisgreen, 

Cromarty,  Lord,  his  defence  of 
James  in  the  Gowrie  affair, 
223  ;  testifies  to  the  finding  of 
Sprot's  Letter  IV,  224,  229 

DAVIDSON,  Eev.  M.,  cited,  249 
Dirleton,  Gowrie's  stronghold  near 

North  Berwick,  42,  43,  145 
Doig,  Watty,  arrests  Sprot,  162 
Douglas,  Archibald,  the  infamous 

traitor,  140  ;  his  intimacy  with 

Logan,  154,  155,  157 



Douglas,  Archibald,  of  Glenbervie, 

Douglas,  Archibald  (son  of 
Douglas  of  Glenbervie),  student 
at  Padua,  126,  248 

Douglas  of  Spot,  140,  156 

Douglas,  Sir  Robert,  and  the 
Gowrie  emblem  in  Padua,  127, 
246,  247,  248,  251 

Drumniond  of  Inchaffray,  at 
Gowrie  House  when  the  Ruth- 
vens  were  killed,  19,  24,  43; 
letter  from  James,  134,  135 

Dunbar,  Earl  of,  his  humane 
treatment  of  Sprot,  163,  170; 
Sprot's  confession  forwarded  to 
him,  182  ;  in  debt  to  Logan,  211 

Dunfermline,  Earl  of,  and  the 
preachers,  102 ;  opposes  James's 
demands  for  money,  131  ;  pre- 
sent at  Sprot's  examinations, 
201,  210 

EASTER  WEMYSS,  Laird  of,  op- 
poses James's  demands  for 
monej7,  131 

Elizabeth,  Queen,  11 ;  receives, 
through  Preston,  James's  ac- 
count of  the  Gowrie  affair,  96 ; 
seeks  to  purchase  the  Casket 
Letters  from  Gowrie's  father, 
240;  said  to  have  granted  to 
Gowrie  the  guard  and  honours 
of  a  Prince  of  Wales,  248 

Elphinstone  (Lord  Balmerino), 
Secretary  of  the  Privy  Council, 
in  receipt  of  James's  narrative 
of  the  Gowrie  plot,  38 ;  denies 
discrepancies  alleged  by  the 
preachers  in  the  report  of  the 
tragedy,  102 

Erskine,  Sir  Thomas,  his  share  in 
the  Gowrie  slaughter,  19, 26, 27, 
28,  29,  30,  31,  51,  59,  74,  85, 139 

Erskine  (Sir  Thomas's  brother), 
his  part  in  the  tragedy,  26,  27, 
28,  29 

Essex,  Earl  of,  11,  105 

Eviot,  Patrick,  present  at  the 
fight  in  the  death  chamber,  29, 
30,  60  ;  proclaimed,  63 

FALKLAND  Castle,  5,  12 

Fastcastle,  Berwickshire,  the 
stronghold  of  Logan,  where  it 
is  said  James  was  to  have  been 
lodged,  153,  154,  193,  194 

Fyvie,  President  of  the  Privy 
Council.  See  Dunfermline. 

GALLOWAY,  Rev.  Patrick  (the 
King's  chaplain),  his  account 
of  the  doors  passed  through  and 
locked  by  the  Master  on  the 
way  to  the  turret,  53 ;  proclaims 
Henderson  as  the  man  in  the 
turret,  63 ;  alleges  that  Gowrie 
attempted  to  involve  James  in 
negotiations  with  the  Pope,  104, 
128  ;  reported  to  have  induced 
Henderson  to  pretend  to  be 
the  man  in  the  turret,  114 ;  at 
Sprot's  examination,  186.  217, 
220,  226 

Galloway,  William,  one  of  Sprot's 
victims,  203 

Gardiner,  Mr.  S.  R.  (historian),  on 
the  Gowrie  mystery,  5 

Gibson  (Scottish  judge),  kidnap- 
ping of,  145 

Goodman,  the,  of  Pitmillie,  on  the 
King's  knowledge  of  Hender- 
son, 114 

Gowdie,  Isobel,  accused  of  witch- 
craft, 198 

Gowrie,  Earl  of  (father  of  John 
Earl  of,  and  the  Master  of 
Ruthven),  one  of  the  Riccio 
murderers,  118 ;  in  charge  of 
Mary  at  Lochleven,  118  ;  par- 
doned for  his  share  in  the  Raid 
of  Ruthven,  119  ;  arrested  and 
brought  to  trial,  120;  foul 
means  by  which  his  conviction 
was  procured,  120-123 ;  fore- 
knowledge of  the  Angus  con- 
spiracy, 121, 122 ;  nobles  charged 
by  him  with  treachery,  122 ; 
execution,  11,  55,  56,  121 ;  the 
King's  debt  to  him,  84 ;  after 
death  denounced  by  James  as  a 
traitor,  96  ;  the  Casket  Letters 
in  his  possession,  240 

Gowrie  House,  situation  and  topo- 



graphy  of,  14-18  ;  Lennox's  ac- 
count of  proceedings  at,  on  the 
day  of  the  slaughter,  20  et  seq. 

Gowrie  Inn,  18 

Gowrie,  John  Earl  of,  his  attri- 
buted relations  with  the  Queen, 
3 ;  speculations  as  to  his  aims 
and  character,  5,  7 ;  and  the 
causes  leading  to  his  death,  5, 
7 ;  alleged  plot  to  seize  James, 
7  ;  his  retainers'  evidence  there- 
on, 9 ;  the  Duke  of  Lennox's 
account  of  events,  13  et  seq. ; 
James's  invitation  to  Gowrie 
House  to  see  the  treasure,  14  ; 
situation  and  topography  of 
his  house,  15-18 ;  observers' 
accounts  of  his  plot  said  to 
have  been  aimed  at  the  King, 
20-34  ;  the  manner  of  his  death, 
31 ;  the  King's  own  narrative 
of  the  Goivrie  plot,  35  et  seq.  ; 
his  conduct  in  the  light  of  that 
narrative,  42 ;  the  circumstance 
of  the  man  in  the  turret,  and 
the  plot  of  gold  concealed  from 
him,  41,  42,  49,  50 ;  Henderson 
sent  by  the  Master  to  warn 
him  of  the  King's  arrival,  43  ; 
secrecy  enjoined  by  him  on 
Henderson  as  to  the  ride  to 
Falkland,  44 ;  silent  as  to  his 
knowledge  of  the  King's 
approach,  45 ;  makes  no  pre- 
paration for  the  King's  dinner 
46,  49  ;  influence  of  a  disagree- 
ment between  him  and  the 
Master,  respecting  the  Abbey 
of  Scone,  48,  49 ;  meets  the 
King  and  conducts  him  to 
Gowrie  House,  49  ;  his  uneasy 
conduct  while  the  King  dines, 
49,  50  ;  account  of  his  share  in 
the  plot  drawn  from  Hender- 
son's deposition,  64 ;  questions 
Henderson  about  the  King,  65  ; 
bids  Henderson  put  on  his  secret 
coat  of  mail  to  arrest  a  High- 
lander, 65 ;  the  contemporary 
JRuthven  Vindication,  80-93 ; 
theory  of  an  accidental  brawl, 
94-98 ;  contemporary  clerical 

and  popular  criticism,  99  et  seq. ; 
alleged  attempts  to  entangle 
James  in  negotiations  with 
the  Pope,  104;  grounds  for 
a  hereditary  feud  between 
him  and  James,  118 ;  elected 
provost  of  Perth,  124 ;  at 
Edinburgh  University,  124 ; 
in  alliance  with  Bothwell  and 
Atholl  against  James,  125 ; 
their  manifesto  to  the  Kirk, 
125  ;  goes  with  his  tutor  Ehynd 
to  Padua,  126  ;  his  emblem,  and 
saying  regarding  it,  127  ;  extols 
the  conduct  of  an  English 
fanatic  at  Kome,  127 :  re- 
ported to  have  been  converted 
to  Catholicism,  128  ;  his  name 
on  Bothwell's  list  of  Scottish 
Catholic  nobles  ripe  for  the 
invasion  of  Scotland,  129 ; 
presented  by  Elizabeth,  in 
London,  with  a  cabinet  of 
plate,  130;  James  jealous  of 
him  on  his  return  to  Edin- 
burgh, 131 ;  opposes  the  King's 
demands  for  money,  131,  141 ; 
letter  of  invitation  to  Court, 
from  the  Queen,  133 ;  letter  of 
invitation  to  Falkland  from 
James,  134,  135 ;  quits  Strab- 
ran  for  Perth,  136  ;  movements 
on  the  morning  of  the  tragedy, 
137  ;  granted  exemption  for  a 
year  from  pursuit  by  creditors, 
141 ;  rumour  that  he  was  a 
candidate  for  the  English 
throne,  141 ;  motives  of  re- 
venge urging  him  to  plot 
against  James,  143 ;  his  views 
as  to  secrecy  in  plots,  144 ; 
evidences  of  his  intention  to 
capture  James  and  convey  him 
to  Dirleton,  145,  146 ;  letter  to 
Logan,  183,  184  ;  anxious  that 
Lord  Home  should  be  initiated 
into  the  conspiracy,  206,  207  ; 
his  arms  and  ambitions,  245- 
251 ;  emblem  at  Padua,  247, 
248,  256  ;  Tudor  descent,  249 ; 
pedigree,  248,  249,  250  ;  Both- 
well's statement  implying  that 



he  was  a  secret  candidate  for 
James's  crown,  251 

Gowrie,  Lady  (Gowrie's  mother), 
aids  Bothwell  in  capturing 
James  at  Holyrood,  124,  125  ; 
her  movements  immediately 
prior  to  the  tragedy,  136  ;  at 
Dirleton  on  August  6,  136  ; 
her  suit  for  relief  from  her 
creditors,  141 

Graham  of  Balgonie,  reports  the 
Master's  desire  to  be  alone  with 
the  King  while  inspecting  the 
treasure,  50  ;  picks  up  the  gar- 
ter supposed  to  have  been  used 
to  tie  James's  hands  in  the  tur- 
ret chamber,  58  ;  verbal  narra- 
tive of  the  King's  escape  to  the 
Privy  Council,  101 

Graham,  Richard  (wizard),  ac- 
cuses Bothwell  of  attempting 
James's  life  by  sorcery,  198, 199 

Gray,  suspected  as  the  man  in  the 
turret,  62 

Gray,  the  Master  of,  reports  Len- 
nox's doubt  whether  Gowrie  or 
the  King  was  guilty,  116 ;  his 
relations  with  Logan  of  Restal- 
rig,  156,  157 

Guevara,  Sir  John  (cousin  of  Lord 
Willoughbyj,  his  share  in  kid- 
napping Ashfield,  139  ;  cited, 
146,  218 

Gunnisgreen,  Logan  of  Restalrig's 
residence,  162 

Gunton,  Mr.  (Librarian  at  Hat- 
field),  on  Logan's  letters,  239, 

HADDINGTON,  Earl  of,  in  posses- 
sion of  records  of  Sprot's  pri- 
vate examinations,  173, 174;  the 
torn  letter,  216,  217  ;  copies  of 
Logan's  letters  (I,  IV),  224; 
documents  written  by  Sprot,  241 

Hailes,  Lord,  cited,  62  note ;  on  a 
contemporary  treatise  in  vindi- 
cation of  the  Ruthvens,  81 ;  his 
romantic  story  concerning  the 
Master  of  Rut'hven,  132 

Hall,  Rev.  John,  his  objection  to 

acceptance  of  James's  narra- 
tive, 103  ;  restored  to  his  pulpit, 
105  ;  present  when  Sproc  con- 
fessed to  forgery  of  the  Logan 
letters,  186 ;  at  Sprot's  exami- 
nation, 217,  220,  226 

Hamilton,  Lord,  asked  to  head  the 
party  of  the  Kirk,  177 

Hamilton  of  Grange,  at  the 
slaughter  of  the  Ruthvens,  19 

Hamilton,  Sir  Thomas  (the  King's 
Advocate),  64 ;  preserves  the 
records  of  Sprot's  private  ex- 
aminations, 173, 174  ;  at  Sprot's 
examinations,  201,  210 ;  Sprot's 
model  letter  delivered  to  him, 

Hamilton,  Thomas,  on  the  doors 
passed  through  by  the  Master 
and  James  to  reach  the  turret, 

Hart,  Sir  William  (Chief  Justice), 
his  account  of  Sprot's  examina- 
tions and  trial,  168,  177,  178, 
179,  180,  181,  220 

Hay,  George  (lay  Prior  of  the 
Chartreux  in  Perth),  on 
Henderson  and  the  Falkland 
ride,  45  ;  on  Henderson's 
message  to  Gowrie  from  the 
Master,  65  ;  at  Perth  on  August 
5th,  137 

Hay,  Peter,  on  Henderson  and 
the  Falkland  ride,  45 

Heddilstane,  196  ;  receipts  from 
Logan  to  him  forged  by 
Sprot,  199 ;  blackmailed  by 
Sprot,  199 

Henderson,  Andrew,  with  the 
Master  of  Ruthveii  at  Gowrie 
House,  43 ;  accompanies  the 
Master  on  a  mission  to  James 
at  Falkland,  and  sent  with  a 
message  to  Gowrie,  44 ;  en- 
joined by  Gowrie  to  keep  this 
ride  secret,  44,  45  ;  Robertson's 
evidence  respecting  his  presence 
in  the  death  chamber,  60,  61 ; 
other  theories  on  the  same 
note  ;  his  flight  after  the  affray, 
60, 62 ;  proclaimed  by  Galloway 
as  the  man  in  the  turret,  63  : 



reasons     for     his     flight,     64; 
examined     before    the     Lords, 

64  ;  his  narrative  of  the  events 
leading    to    the    tragedy,    64; 
incidents  at  Falkland,  65  ;  the 
Master's   message    to    Gowrie, 

65  ;  bidden  to  put  on  a  coat   of 
mail  by  Gowrie,  66 ;  waits  on 
the  King  at  dinner,  65  ;  sent  to 
the  Master  in  the  gallery,  66  ; 
locked   in    the   turret    by    the 
Master,  66  ;  accordance  of  his 
account  of   the  final  scenes  in 
the    tragedy  with   that   of   the 
King,  66  ;  states  that  he  threw 
the  dagger  out  of  the  Master's 
hand,  66  ;  discrepancies  in  his 
later    deposition,     67 ;    in    his 
second    deposition     omits    the 
statement  that  he  deprived  the 
Master  of   his  dagger,  67  ;  his 
version  of  the  words  exchanged 
between  the  Master  and  James 
in  the  turret  chamber,  68 ;  the 
question  of  his    disarming   the 
Master,  69  ;  on  what  was   his 
confession  modelled,  70 ;  clings 
to   the  incident    of   the  garter, 
70  ;  the  most  incredible  part  of 
his  narrative.  70  ;  perils  to  him 
in  listening  to  treasonable  pro- 
posals from  the  Euthvens,  72  ; 
Kobert     Oliphant's     statement 
contrasted    with    his,    75,    77 ; 
quarrels  with  Herries,  77,  78 ; 
Eev.     Mr.       Brace's     attitude 
towards     his    deposition,    103, 
104;       said      to     have     been 
induced     by     the     Rev.     Mr. 
Galloway  to  pretend  to  be   the 
man  in  the  turret,  114  ;  share 
in    the     Gowrie     affair,     145 ; 
questioned  by  Moncrieff,  145 

Henry,  Prince  (son  of  James  VI 
and  his  heir),  in  the  charge  of 
Mar,  138 

Heron,  Captain  Patrick,  his 
career,  76  note ;  seizes,  by 
commission,  Oliphant's  port- 
able property  and  claps  him  in 
prison  in  the  Gate  House  of 
Westminster,  76 ;  compelled 

to  restore  Oliphant's  property, 

Herries,  Dr.,  at  the  King's  hunt 

at  Falkland,  12 ;  at  Gowrie 
House  when  the  Ruthvens  were 
killed,  20,  27,  28,  29,  30,  31; 
his  share  in  the  affray,  59,  85  ; 
wounded  by  Cranstoun,  74 ; 
quarrels  with  Henderson,  77 ; 
knighted  and  rewarded,  78 ; 
fable  of  his  prophecy  to  Beatrix 
Euthven,  131 

Hewat,  Rev.  Peter,  accepts 
James's  narrative,  102,  103  ;  at 
Sprot's  examination,  186,  217, 
220,  226 

History  of  the  Kirk  of  Scotland 
(MS.),  cited,  164 

Hogg,  Eev.  William  (minister  of 
Aytoun),  on  the  Logan  plot- 
letters,  243 

Home,  Lady,  aware  of  Logan's 
desire  to  obtain  Dirleton,  207. 

Home,  (sixth)  Lord,  in  communi- 
cation with  Bothwell,  129,  130, 
152,  205,  206,  207 

Home.  Lord  (Logan's  uterine 
brother),  184,  187,  205  ;  Logan's 
contempt  for  him  as  a  con- 
spirator, 237 

Home,  William  (sheriff  clerk  of 
Berwick),  on  the  Logan  plot- 
letters,  243 

Home,  John  (notary  in  Eye- 
rnouth),  on  the  Logan  plot- 
letters,  243 

Horse,  King  James's,  his  part  in 
the  Gowrie  mystery,  22 

Hudson,  Mr.  (James's  resident  at 
the  Court  of  England),  inter- 
views the  King  and  Henderson 
on  the  transactions  in  the 
turret  chamber,  67,  69  note ; 
his  explanation  of  the  origin  of 
differences  between  the  King's 
narrative  and  Henderson's  evi- 
dence, 69 

Hume  of  Cowdenknowes  (married 
to  Gowrie's  sister  Beatrix),  124 

Hume  of  Godscroft,  on  a  message 
from  the  Earl  of  Angus  to 



Gowrie's  father  in  conspiracy, 

121,  122 

Hume  of  Manderston,  187 
Hume  of  Eentoun,  196 
Hume,  Sir  George,  of  Spot,  64 

JAMES  VI  of  Scotland,  married 
to  Anne  of  Denmark,  2 ;  early 
life  and  character,  4  ;  his  version 
of  the  Gowrie  n^stery,  6 ; 
reasons  for  doubting  his  guilt, 
7  ;  untrustworthiness  of  his 
word,  8  ;  substantial  character 
of  his  tale,  9  ;  love  of  the  chase, 
11  ;  political  troubles,  11  ; 
hunting  costume,  12 ;  concerning 
him,  facts  drawn  from  Lennox, 
13  et  seq. ;  starts  for  the  hunt 
in  Falkland  Park,  13  ;  the 
Master  of  Ruthven  interviews 
him  before  the  hunt,  13  ;  goes  to 
Gowrie's  house,  14  ;  observers' 
accounts  of  the  transactions 
indicating  him,  20-34 ;  his 
dinner  at  Gowrie  House,  20  ; 
goes  upstairs  on  a  quiet  errand, 
20 ;  Cranstoun's  statement  that 
the  King  had  ridden  away,  20  ; 
search  for  him  in  the  house,  21 ; 
Gowrie  confirms  his  departure, 
22  ;  but  —  the  King's  horse 
still  in  the  stable,  22  ;  heard 
calling  from  the  window,  23; 
struggle  with  the  Master  of 
Ruthven,  24,  25,  26 ;  the  man 
in  the  turret  behind  the  King's 
back,  25  ;  sanctions  the  stabbing 
of  the  Master  of  Ruthven  by 
Ramsay,  26  ;  shut  up  in  the 
turret,  29,  30 ;  kneels  in  prayer 
in  the  chamber  bloody  with  the 
corpse  of  Gowrie,  32 ;  his  own 
narrative  of  the  affair,  35  et 
seq. ;  theory  of  the  object  of 
the  Ruthvens,  37 ;  the  Master  of 
Ruthven' s  statement  to  him  of 
the  cloaked  man  and  the  pot 
full  of  coined  gold  pieces,  39 ; 
suspects  the  Jesuits  of  import- 
ing foreign  gold  for  seditious 
purposes,  40  ;  his  horror  of 
'practising  Papists,'  40;  hypo- 

thesis of  his  intended  kidnap- 
ping, 37,  42 ;  importance  of 
the  ride  of  the  Master  and 
Henderson  to  Falkland  and  its 
concealment  to  the  substantia- 
tion of  his  narrative,  44, 45,  46 ; 
asserts  Henderson's  presence 
at  Falkland,  46  ;  rides,  followed 
by  Mar  and  Lennox,  after  the 
kill  to  Perth,  47  ;  surmises 
regarding  Ruthven,  47  ;  motives 
for  the  Master  acquiring  his 
favour  regarding  the  Abbey  of 
Scone,  48  ;  asks  Lennox  if  he 
thinks  the  Master  settled  in  his 
wits,  48 ;  pressed  by  the  Master 
to  come  on  and  see  the  man  and 
the  treasure,  48  ;  met  by  Gowrie 
with  sixty  men,  49 ;  presses 
the  Master  for  a  sight  of  the 
treasure,  49 ;  the  Master  asks 
him  to  keep  the  treasure  a 
secret  from  Gowrie,  49  ; 
Gowrie's  uneasy  behaviour 
while  the  King  dines,  49,  50  ; 
despatches  Gowrie  to  the  Hall 
with  the  grace-cup,  and  follows 
the  Master  alone  to  the  turret 
to  view  the  treasure,  50,  51 ; 
the  question  of  the  doors  he 
passed  through  to  reach  the 
turret  chamber  and  their 
locking  by  the  Master,  51,  52, 
53,  54  ;  threatened  by  the 
Master  with  the  dagger  of  a 
strange  man  in  the  turret 
chamber,  55 ;  denounced  for 
the  execution  of  the  Master's 
father,  56  ;  his  harangue  to  the 
Master  excusing  his  action,  and 
promising  forgiveness  if  released, 
56 ;  Ruthven  goes  to  consult 
Gowrie,  leaving  him  in  the 
custody  of  the  man,  56 ;  questions 
the  man  about  the  conspiracy, 
57  ;  orders  the  man  to  open  the 
window,  58 ;  the  Master  returns 
and  essays  to  bind  his  hands 
with  a  garter,  58  ;  struggles 
with  the  Master  and  shouts 
Treason  from  the  window,  58  ; 
rescued  by  Rarnsay,  who  wounds 



the    Master,    59  ;     returns    to 
Falkland,      59  ;      Henderson's 
narrative  of  events,  60  et  seq. ; 
his  interview  with  the  Master 
and  journey  to  Gowrie  House, 
65  ;  at  dinner,  65  ;  Henderson's 
account  of  the  struggle  in  the 
turret      chamber     mainly     in 
accord  with  the  King's  narra- 
tive, 66 ;  discrepancy  between  his 
and  Henderson's  accounts  of  the 
disarming  of  Euthven,  69,  104  ; 
causes  Oliphant  to  be  lodged  in 
the  Gate  House,  Westminster, 
76 ;  subsequently  releases  him 
and  restores  his  property,  76, 77  ; 
maintains   his  to   be   the   true 
account   of    the   Gowrie   affair 
and  disregards  discrepancies  in 
evidence,  78  ;    on   the   way  to 
Gowrie   House    had    informed 
Lennox  of  Euthven's  tale  of  the 
pot  of   gold,  94 ;  theory  of  his 
concoction    of    the    tale,    95 ; 
despatches  Preston  to  Elizabeth 
with  his  version  of  the  Gowrie 
affair,  96  ;  rates  the  Edinburgh 
preachers  for  refusing  to  thank 
God   for  his   delivery  from    a 
'  Gowrie    plot,'     101  ;    reasons 
for  his  ferocity  towards  the  re- 
calcitrant  preachers,  102;    his 
alleged  '  causes '  for  the  death 
of  Gowrie,  104  ;    Bruce   states 
that  he  is  convinced,  on  Mar's 
oath  chiefly,  of  his  innocence, 
106  ;     under   interrogation    by 
Bruce,    107,    108 ;     subsequent 
persecution  of  Bruce,  109 ;  ob- 
jections taken  by  contemporary 
sceptics  to  his  narrative,  111- 
117 ;  grounds  for   a  hereditary 
feud  between  him  and  Gowrie, 

118  ;  early  years  of  his  reign, 

119  ;  the  Eaid  of  Euthven,  119  ; 
his  acquiescence  in  the  execution 
of  Gowrie's  father,  123  ;  Arran's 
influence  over  him,  119,  123  ; 
suspected     of      favouring    the 
Catholic   earls   of     the   North, 
124  ;  Gowrie,  Atholl  and  Both- 
well   in   alliance   against   him, 

125 ;  their  manifesto  to  the  Kirk, 
125  ;  Gowrie's  relique  at  Padua 
forwarded  to  him  by  Sir  Eobert 
Douglas,  127  ;  early  correspon- 
dence  with   Gowrie,   127 ;   his 
alleged  jealousy  of  Gowrie,  130; 
gives  Gowrie  a   year's   respite 
from  pursuit   of   his    creditors, 
131;    thwarted   by  Gowrie   in 
his  demands  for  money,  131 ; 
romantic  story  of  his  discovery 
of  the   Queen's  ribbon  on   the 
Master's  neck,  132 ;  his  letters 
inviting  Atholl,  the  Master  and 
Gowrie  to  Falkland,  134,   135, 
note ;    his   motives  for   killing 
both  the   Euthvens,  139,  140 ; 
method  attributed  to  him  by  his 
adversaries  on  which  he  might 
have  carried  out  a  plot  against 
the      Euthvens,      142 ;      plots 
against  him  encouraged  by  the 
English  Government,  161 ;  his 
life    aimed    at    by   witchcraft, 
198.     See  'The  Verie  Manner 
of  the  Erll  of  Gowrie,'  &c. 
Jesuits,   suspected   by   James    of 
importing  foreign  coin  for  sedi- 
tious purposes,  40 

KEITH,  Andrew,  at  Padua,  126, 248 
Ker,   George    (Catholic    intriguer 

with  Spain),  154 
Ker  of  Newbattle,  at  Padua  with 

Gowrie,  248 
Ker,   Eobert,    of     Newbattle,    at 

Padua,  126 
Kirk,  the,   the  King's  version   of 

the  Gowrie  plot  discredited  by, 

Kirkcaldy  of  Grange,  in  defence  of 

Edinburgh  Castle,  152 ;  hanged 

on  the  fall  of  the  castle,  153 

LENNOX,  Duke  of,  at  the  King's 
hunt  in  Falkland  Park,  12,  47; 
his  account  of  what  followed, 
13  et  seq. ;  accompanies  James 
to  Gowrie  House,  14 ;  his  opin- 
ion of  the  Master  of  Euthven 
and  the  story  of  the  pitcher  of 




gold  coins,  14 ;  at  Gowrie  House 
with  the  King,  19;  his  version  and 
that  of  others  of  the  transactions 
which  brought  about  the  deaths 
of  Gowrie  and  the  Master,  20- 
34  ;  questioned  by  James  as  to 
the  sanity  of  the  Master,  48  ; 
informed  by  James  of  the  Mas- 
ter's story  of  the  gold  coins,  94, 
95 ;  at  the  slaughter  of  the 
Euthvens,  86,  88,  119,  124; 
married  to  Gowrie's  sister 
Sophia,  124 

Lesley,  suspected  as  the  man  in 
the  turret,  62 

Letter  I  (Logan  to  -  - ),  167,  174, 
185,  188,  189,  196,  200,  216, 
217,  223,  224,  225,  226,  228, 

230,  232,   233,   234,   235,   257, 

Letter  II  (Logan  to  Bower),  183, 
184,  185,  188,  189,  195,  205, 
208,  224,  228,  229,  239,  258, 

Letter  III  (Logan  to  —  ),  200, 
216,  217,  223,  224,  228,  232, 
233,  234,  235,  239,  259,  260 

Letter  IV  (Logan  to  Gowrie). 
cited,  166,  167,  170,  173,  174, 
175,  176,  177,  178,  179,  181, 
182,  186,  187,  190,  191,  192, 
194,  195,  196,  197,  199,  202, 
206,  207,  215,  221,  222,  223, 
224,  225,  226,  228,  229,  230, 

231,  232,   233,   234,   235,   236, 
237,  238,  260-263 

Letter  V  (Logan  to  -  - ),  200,  215, 

216,   217,   223,   224,   228,  232, 

233,  234,  235,  263,  264 
Lindores,  at  the  slaughter  of  the 

Ruthvens,  19,  20,  21 
Lindsay,   James,   at  Padua   with 

Gowrie,  126,  248 
Lindsay,   Lord,   surety   for   Lord 

Eobert  Stewart,  153 
Lindsay,  Rev.  David,  sent  to  tell 

James's  story  of  his  escape  from 

the   Gowrie  plot  at  the   Cross, 

Edinburgh,  101 
Lindsay,     Sir    Harry,    Laird    of 

Kinfauns,  Sprot  withdraws  his 

charge  against  him,  217 

Locke,  Henry  (Cecil's  go-between 
and  agent  in  conspiracy  against 
James),  160 

Logan,  Matthew,  187,  189,  193, 
203 ;  bearer  of  letters  from 
Logan  to  Bower,  211,  212,  213 ; 
account  of  Bower's  reception  of 
them,  213  ;  denies  every  word 
attributed  to  him  by  Sprot,  213, 

Logan,  Sir  Robert  (father  of  Logan 
of  Restalrig),  150,  205,  206 

Logan  of  Restalrig,  his  name  on 
Bothwell's  list  of  Catholic 
nobles,  129  ;  surety  for  Lord 
Robert  Stewart,  153  ;  marries 
Elizabeth  Macgill,  and  is  di- 
vorced from  her,  153 ;  on  terms 
both  with  Protestant  and  Catho- 
lic conspirators,  154,  155,  156 ; 
diplomatic  ambitions,  156 ;  on 
the  packed  jury  which  acquits 
Archibald  Douglas,  157 ;  rela- 
tions with  the  Master  of  Gray. 
157 ;  a  partisan,  with  Gowrie's 
father,  of  Bothwell,  157 ;  helps 
himself  to  the  plate-chest  of 
Nesbit  of  Newton,  158;  bound 
over  not  to  put  Fastcastle  in  the 
hands  of  the  King's  enemies, 
158 ;  his  character  from  Lord 
Willoughby,  159 ;  intimacy 
with  the  Mowbrays,  160 ;  sells 
all  his  landed  property  at  the 
time  of  the  Gowrie  plot,  161, 
205  ;  erratic  behaviour  previous 
to  his  death,  161 ;  death,  161, 
162;  compromising  papers  from 
him  found  on  his  notary  Sprot, 
162 ;  under  torture  Sprot  con- 
fesses these  papers  to  be  his 
own  forgeries,  162 ;  on  examina- 
tion before  the  Privy  Council 
Sprot  persists  in  Logan's  com- 
plicity in  the  Gowrie  plot,  163, 
170;  his  exhumed  remains 
brought  into  court  and  tried 
for  treason,  164 ;  compromising 
letters,  164,  165 ;  his  family 
forfeited,  165 ;  production  of 
alleged  plot-letters  at  his  post- 
humous trial,  168,  175 ;  con- 



tents  of  Letter  IV  to  Gowrie, 
176 ;  use  made  of  the  letters  by 
the  Government,  179,  181 ;  let- 
ters from  and  to  Gowrie,  183 ; 
letter  to  Bower,  183,  184,  185 ; 
conduct  immediately  before  and 
after  Gowrie's  death,  187 ;  his 
scheme  to  get  possession  of 
Dirleton,  189 ;  his  keep  Fast- 
castle,  where  it  is  said  James 
was  to  have  been  carried,  193  ; 
charge  of  conspiracy  to  murder 
James  made  hi  the  Indictment 
in  his  posthumous  trial,  193 ; 
faint  evidence  that  he  was  con- 
nected with  the  Gowrie  plot, 
194 ;  with  Bower  at  Colding- 
hame  on  the  failure  of  the  plot, 
195 ;  memorandum  to  Bower 
and  Bell,  195 ;  singular  beha- 
viour in  trusting  his  letters  to 
Bower,  202;  burns  Euthven's 
and  Clerk's  letters,  202;  letter 
to  Baillie  of  Littlegill,  202; 
events  at  his  Yule  at  Gunnis- 
green,  203  ;  takes  Sprot  into  his 
confidence,  204 ;  discourages 
the  idea  of  bringing  Lord  Home 
into  the  plot,  207,  208 ;  conver- 
sation with  Lady  Home  about 
Dirleton,  208 ;  his  visit  to  Lon- 
don, 210 ;  letter  to  Bower,  and 
Sprot's  answer,  211 ;  fears  the 
effect  of  Bower's  rash  speeches, 
212 ;  forged  letters  attributed 
to  him,  215,  216,  217 ;  partner 
in  a  ship  with  Lord  Willoughby, 
218 ;  his  letter  to  Gowrie  the 
model  for  Sprot's  forgeries,  177, 
221 ;  motives  for  his  sale  of  his 
lands,  228 

Logan,  Robert  (son  of  Logan  of 
Restalrig  and  Elizabeth  Mac- 
gill),  153 

Lords  of  the  Articles,  the,  the 
Gowrie  case  before,  8  ;  the 
Logan  trial  before,  165 

Lumisden,  Eev.  Mr.,  present 
when  Sprot  confessed  to  forgery 
of  letters,  186 ;  at  the  examina- 
tion of  Sprot,  226 

Lyn,  tailor,  Mr.  Eobert  Oliphant's 

confidences  to   him   about  the 
Gowrie  plot,  73,  75 

MACBRECK,  witness  of  the  attack 
on  Gowrie,  29 

Macgill,  Elizabeth,  married  to 
Logan  of  Eestalrig,  and 
divorced  from  him,  153 

Maitland  of  Lethington,  152 

Man,  the,  in  the  turret,  35,  55, 
56,  57,  62,  72 

Mar,  Earl  of,  at  the  King's  hunt 
at  Falkland,  12, 47 ;  with  James 
at  Gowrie  House,  23,  24,  26, 
32 ;  at  the  Gowrie  slaughter, 
86,  88 ;  assures  the  preacher 
Bruce  of  the  truth  of  the  King's 
narrative,  104,  105 ;  is  told  by 
Bruce  that  he  will  accept  the 
verdict  in  the  Gowrie  case  but 
not  preach  Gowrie's  guilt,  105 ; 
entrusted  by  James  with  the 
care  of  Prince  Henry,  138 ;  the 
Queen's  plots  against  him,  138 

Mary  of  Guise  (James's  grand- 
mother), 118 

Mary  Queen  of  Scots  and  the 
Casket  Letters,  5, 7,  8  ;  declares 
that  Euthven  (Gowrie's  grand- 
father) persecuted  her  by  his 
lust,  119 

Mason,  Peter,  190 

Masson,  Dr.,  on  the  Gowrie 
mystery,  5 

Matthew,  Toby  (Dean  of  Dur- 
ham), Bothwell's  statement  to 
him,  251 

Maul,  one  of  Sprot's  victims,  203 

Maxwell,  Lord,  cited,  193 

Melville,  Sir  Eobert,  his  treachery 
in  procuring  the  conviction  of 
Gowrie's  father,  120-122 

Moncrieff,  Hew,  present  at  the 
slaughter  of  the  Euthvens,  29, 
32 ;  at  the  fight  in  the  death 
chamber,  60 ;  proclaimed,  63  ; 
puzzled  regarding  the  Master's 
early  ride  from  Perth  to  Falk- 
land, 137 

Moncrieff,  John,  questions  Hender- 
son as  to  the  ride  to  Falkland, 



44,  145 ;  on  Gowrie's  silence  as 
to  his  knowledge  of  the  King's 
approach,  45 ;  on  Gowrie's 
actions  on  the  morning  of  the 
fatal  5th,  137 

Montrose  (Chancellor),  64 ; 
desires  the  preachers  to  thank 
God  in  their  churches  for  the 
King's  '  miraculous  delivery,' 

Montrose,  the  Master  of,  conspir- 
ing against  James,  125 

Moray,  Earl,  his  alleged  relations 
with  Queen  Anne,  2 

Morton,  Eegent,  confines  Lord 
Eobert  Stewart  in  Linlithgow 
Castle,  153 

Mossman,  imprisoned  for  share 
in  the  Gowrie  plot,  203 

Mowbray,  Francis,  intriguing  with 
Cecil  against  James,  159 ;  im- 
prisoned in  Edinburgh  Castle, 
and  killed  in  trying  to  escape 
therefrom,  160 

Mowbray,  Philip,  of  Barnbogle, 
surety  for  Lord  Robert  Stewart, 
153;  intriguing  with  Cecil 
against  James,  159 

Moysie,  David,  probable  writer  of 
the  Falkland  letter,  after  the 
slaughter  of  the  Euthvens,  38 
note;  100 

Murray,  George,  in  attendance  on 
James,  12 

Murray,  John  of  Arbany,  in 
attendance  on  James,  12 ;  with 
James  at  the  slaughter  of  the 
Euthvens,  24,  25,  26,  32,  61; 
wounded  by  a  Euthven  partisan, 

Murray,  Sir  David,  on  Gowrie's 
speech  against  James's  demands 
for  money,  131 

Murray  of  Tullibardine,  in  Perth 
at  the  time  of  the  Gowrie  tra- 
gedy, 28 

NAISMITH  (surgeon),  with  James 
at  the  Falkland  hunt,  47 

Napier,  Mr.  Mark,  on  Sprot's 
alleged  forgery  of  the  Logan 
letters,  172,  173,  222;  denies 

that  any  compromising  letters 
were  found,  178 

Napier  of  Merchistoun,  his  con- 
tract as  to  gold-finding  with 
Logan  of  Eestalrig,  171 

Nesbit,  William,  of  Newton, 
robbed  by  Logan,  158 

Neville,  recommends  Gowrie  to 
Cecil  as  a  useful  man,  130 

Nicholson,  George  (English  resi- 
dent at  the  Court  of  Holyrood), 
his  account  of  James's  Falkland 
letter  on  the  Gowrie  case,  38; 
on  Eobert  Oliphant's  indiscre- 
tions of  speech,  74 ;  communi- 
cates to  Cecil  Oliphant's  state- 
ment respecting  Cranstoun  and 
Henderson  75  note;  refers  to 
a  book  on  the  Euthven  side 
published  in  England,  82  ;  cites 
the  King's  letter  to  the  Privy 
Council  regarding  the  Gowrie 
plot,  100,  102 ;  informs  Cecil  of 
Gowrie's  conversion  to  Catholi- 
cism, 128 

OLIPHANT  of  Bauchiltoun,  brother 
of  Eobert,  77 

Oliphant,  Eobert,  identified  by 
the  first  proclamation  as  the 
man  in  the  turret,  62  ;  proves 
an  alibi,  62,  72  ;  his  confidences 
to  tailor  Lyn  anent  his  fore- 
knowledge of  the  Gowrie  plot, 
73  ;  denounces  the  hanging  of 
Cranstoun,  and  affirms  the 
guilt  of  Henderson,  75  ;  avers 
that  Gowrie  proposed  to  him 
in  Paris  the  part  offered  to 
Henderson,  75 ;  seeks  to  divert 
Gowrie  from  his  project,  75 ; 
his  portable  property  seized  by 
Captain  Heron,  and  himself 
imprisoned,  76 ;  released  by 
James  and  goes  abroad,  76; 
property  subsequently  restored, 
77;  his  statement  contrasted 
with  Henderson's,  77  ;  cited,  144 

PADUA  University,  126 
Panton,   Mr.,   on    Henderson    at 
Falkland,  64  note ;  his  defence 



of  the  Euthvens,  80 ;  refers  to 
a  contemporary  vindication,  80 

'  Papers  relating  to  the  Master  of 
Gray,'  cited,  158 

Paul,  Sir  James  Balfour,  on  the 
Gowrie  arms,  245 

Perth,  gathering  of  the  burgesses 
of,  before  Gowrie  House  on 
the  day  of  the  slaughter  of  the 
Euthvens,  30,  32 

Pitcairn,  on  Bruce's  interrogation 
of  the  King,  109  ;  discovery  and 
publication  of  Logan  of  Eestal- 
rig's  alleged  plot-letters,  169 

Pittencrieff,  Laird  of,  at  Gowrie 
House  on  the  day  when  the 
Euthvens  were  killed,  23 

Popular  contemporary  criticism  on 
the  King's  narrative,  111-117 

Preachers  of  Edinburgh,  the, 
summoned  before  the  Privy 
Council  to  hear  the  King's 
letter  on  the  Gowrie  plot  read, 

99,  100 ;  desired  by  Montrose 
to  thank   God   for   the   King's 
'  miraculous     delivery,'      100 ; 
their    reply    to    that    request, 

100,  101 ;    taken    to    task  by 
James   for   refusing    to    thank 
God   for  his    delivery   from   a 
Gowrie  '  conspiracy,'  101 ;  their 
defence,     101,     102 ;     James's 
punishment  of  the  recalcitrants, 
102  ;  before  the  King  at  Stir- 
ling, 103-106 ;  summon  Gowrie 
home  to  be  the  leader  of  the 
Kirk,  140 

Preston,  sent  by  James  to  Eliza- 
beth with  his  version  of  the 
Gowrie  affair,  96 ;  his  account 
to  Sir  William  Bowes,  97  note 

Primrose  (Clerk  of  Council),  attests 
the  record  of  Sprot's  examina- 
tion, 201,  210 

Privy  Council,  Scottish,  receipt  of 
a  letter  from  James  containing 
an  account  of  the  Gowrie  plot, 
99 ;  the  preachers  summoned 
to  hear  it  read,  and  desired  by 
the  Chancellor  to  thank  God 
in  their  churches  for  the  King's 
escape,  99,  100 ;  report  to 

James  that  the  preachers  will 
not  praise  God  for  his  delivery, 

EAID  of  Euthven,  the,  119 

Eamsay,  John,  in  attendance  on 
James,  12;  his  share  in  the 
proceedings  at  Gowrie  House 
which  led  to  the  deaths  of  the 
Gowries,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  29, 
31,  33,  53,  97;  takes  part  in 
the  slaughter  of  the  Master  of 
Euthven,  26,  85  ;  kills  the  Earl 
of  Gowrie,  31 

Eay,  Andrew  (a  bailie  of  Perth), 
at  Gowrie  House  on  the  day  of 
the  slaughter  of  the  Euthvens, 

Eestalrig  House,  149,  150 

Eestalrig,  Lady  (Logan's  wife), 
189  ;  her  agitation  on  the  know- 
ledge of  the  Logan  conspiracy, 
204 ;  blames  Bower  for  the 
selling  of  Fastcastle,  204;  her 
postscript  to  Logan's  letter  to 
Bower  after  his  death,  215  ;  dis- 
tressed at  Logan's  conduct,  220 ; 
her  daughter  by  Logan,  220 

Eestalrig  Loch,  149,  150 

Eestalrig  village,  148, 149, 150, 151 

'  Eeturn  from  Parnassus,'  the, 
quoted,  126 

Ehynd,  Mr.  (Gowrie's  tutor),  at 
Padua  with  Gowrie,  126;  at 
Gowrie  House  when  the  Euth- 
vens were  killed,  32  ;  tells  of 
the  ride  to  Falkland,  45,  46  ; 
gives  the  key  of  the  gallery  to 
the  Master,  66;  on  Gowrie's 
views  as  to  secrecy  in  plots,  144 

Eobertson,  Eev.  Mr.  (Edinburgh 
preacher),  accepts  James's  nar- 
rative, 102 

Eobertson,  William  (notary  of 
Perth),  his  evidence  of  what  he 
saw  near  the  death  chamber, 
60,  61,  97 

Eoll  of  Scottish  scholars  at  Padua, 

Eollock,  Mr.  (tutor  to  Gowrie  and 
the  Master),  56,  124 



Ruthven,  Alexander,  the  Master 
of  (Gowrie's  brother),  attributed 
relations  with  the  Queen,  3 ; 
plot  to  seize  the  King,  7 ;  Len- 
nox's version  of  events,  13  et 
seq.;  interviews  James  before 
the  hunt  in  Falkland  Park,  13 ; 
induces  the  King  to  visit  Perth, 
to  see  the  pot  of  gold  coins,  14  ; 
his  actions  at  Gowrie  House 
after  the  King's  arrival,  19 ; 
observers'  accounts  of  the 
transactions  which  led  to  his 
death,  24-34 ;  stabbed  by 
Ramsay,  26 ;  James's  own 
narrative  of  the  affair,  35  et 
seq. ;  the  King's  interview  with 
the  Master,  39 ;  the  cloaked 
man  and  the  lure  of  the  pot  of 
gold  pieces,  39-42 ;  his  sug- 
gested project  of  kidnapping 
James,  42 ;  was  accompanied 
by  Henderson  in  his  mission  to 
James  at  Falkland,  43,  44 ; 
alleged  differences  with  his 
brother  over  the  Abbey  of 


Scone,  48,  49 ;  enjoins  on 
James  to  keep  the  treasure  a 
secret  from  Gowrie,  49  ;  con- 
ducts the  King  alone  to  view 
it,  50;  duplicity  in  securing 
this  privacy,  51 ;  suspicious 
conduct  in  locking  doors  of 
rooms  passed  through,  51,  52, 
53 ;  threatens  the  King  with  a 
dagger,  55 ;  James  harangues 
him  and  promises  forgiveness, 
56 ;  goes  to  consult  Gowrie, 
leaving  James  in  the  custody 
of  the  man  in  the  turret,  56 ; 
returns  and  essays  to  bind  the 
King's  hands  with  a  garter,  58 ; 
struggles  with  the  King,  58 ; 
Ramsay  enters  and  stabs  him, 
59 ;  he  is  driven  down  stairs, 
and  killed  by  Erskine  and 
Herries,  59 ;  further  details 
given  by  Henderson,  62  et 
seq. ;  his  message  to  Gowrie  by 
Henderson  from  Falkland,  65  ; 
locks  Henderson  in  the  turret, 
66 ;  Henderson's  narrative  of 

the  struggle  with  the  King,  66  ; 
words  exchanged  with  James 
in  the  turret  chamber,  68 ;  the 
'  promise,'  68 ;  question  of  his 
disarming,  69 ;  romantic  story 
of  the  King's  discovery  of  the 
Queen's  ribbon  round  his  neck, 
132  ;  gossip  about  his  relations 
with  the  Queen,  133 

Ruthven,  Alexander  (cousin  of 
the  Earl  of  Gowrie),  at  the 
slaughter  of  the  Ruthvens,  29, 
32 ;  letter  to  Logan,  183,  184 

Ruthven,  Andrew,  with  the 
Master,  at  Gowrie  House,  on 
the  day  of  the  slaughter,  43, 
157  ;  rides  with  the  Master  and 
Henderson  to  Falkland,  45,  64, 
65 ;  asserts  the  despatch  of 
Henderson  by  the  Master  from 
Falkland  to  acquaint  Gowrie  of 
the  King's  coming,  45,  46,  145 

Ruthven,  Beatrice  (Gowrie's 
sister),  Queen  Anne's  favourite 
maid  of  honour,  13,  124,  131 

Ruthven,  Harry,  present  at  the 
slaughter  of  the  Ruthvens,  29 

Ruthven,  Lord  (Gowrie's  grand- 
father), his  part  in  the  murder 
of  Riccio,  118 

Ruthven,  Mary  (sister  of  Gowrie), 
married  to  the  Earl  of  Atholl, 

Ruthven,  Patrick  (Gowrie's 
brother),  124 

Ruthven,  Sophia  (sister  of  Gow- 
rie), married  to  Lennox,  124 

Ruthven  Vindication,  the  con- 
temporary, 80-93,  252-256 

Ruthven,  William.  (Gowrie's 
brother),  124,  129 

ST.  TRIDUANA'S  Chapel,  150,  151 

Salisbury,  Marquis  of,  in  posses- 
sion of  genuine  letters  of  Logan, 
viii,  241 

Sanderson,  William,  on  the  Gow- 
rie arms,  250 

Scone,  Abbey  of,  in  the  Gowrie 
inheritance,  48,  54 

Scott,  Rev.  John,  his  Life  of 
John,  Earl  of  Gowrie,  cited,  80 



note,  248 ;  on  the  Gowrie  arms 
and  seal,  250,  251 

Scott,  Sir  Walter,  cited,  5 

Scrymgeour,  Sir  Jaines  (Constable 
of  Dundee),  accused  falsely  by 
Sprot,  217 

Smith,  Eev.  Alexander,  on  the 
Logan  plot-letters,  242 

Spottiswoode,  Archbishop  of  Glas- 
gow, his  opinion  of  Sprot,  178  ; 
kept  in  the  dark  as  to  the  Logan 
letters,  179 ;  present  at  Sprot's 
examination,  176,  201,  210 

Sprot  (Logan  of  Eestalrig's  law 
agent),  arrested  by  Watty  Doig, 
162 ;  confesses  that  he  knew 
beforehand  of  the  Gowrie  con- 
spiracy, 162  ;  tortured,  and  in 
part  recants,  162 ;  persists  in 
maintaining  Logan  of  Eestal- 
rig's complicity  in  the  Gowrie 
conspiracy,  163,  170 ;  question 
of  his  forgery  of  letters  to  prove 
Logan's  guilt,  170,  171 ;  motive 
for  forging  the  letters,  172 ; 
confesses  to  the  forgery  in 
private  examinations,  173  ;  re- 
cords of  those  examinations  in 
possession  of  the  Earl  of  Had- 
dington,  173;  letters  quoted 
from  memory  by  him,  175  ;  the 
indictment  against  him,  176, 
177  ;  Sir  William  Hart's  official 
statement  of  his  trial,  177, 178  ; 
use  made  by  the  prosecution  of 
the  Logan  letters,  179  ;  his  tale 
of  Logan's  guilt,  182  ;  sources 
of  his  knowledge,  183,  184 ; 
discrepancies  in  his  statements, 
184,  185  ;  preachers  present  at 
his  confession  of  forgery,  186 ; 
his  written  deposition,  186  ;  the 
cause  for  which  he  forged,  187  ; 
his  conflicting  dates,  188 ;  his 
account  of  Logan  and  Bower's 
scheme  to  get  Dirleton,  189 ; 
excuses  for  the  discrepancies  in 
his  dates,  192;  asserts  that 
Logan  let  Bower  keep  his  letter 
to  Gowrie  for  months,  195^; 
steals  that  letter,  194 ;  confesses 
to  the  forgery  of  Logan's  letter 

to  Bower,  195 ;  and  to  that  of 
Logan's  memorandum  to  Bower 
and  Bell,  196 ;  blackmailing 
operations,  196,  197 ;  forges 
receipts  from  Logan  to  Heddil- 
stane  for  blackmailing  purposes, 
199;  his  uncorroborated  charges, 
202,  203 ;  in  the  confidence  of 
Logan,  204 ;  his  account  of 
Logan's  revels  in  London,  210; 
goes  with  Matthew  Logan  to 
Bower  to  give  answers  to 
Logan's  letters,  211 ;  denies 
that  he  had  received  promise 
of  life  or  reward,  214  ;  reports 
an  incriminating  conversation 
with  Matthew  Logan,  214 ;  con- 
fesses forging,  for  blackmailing 
purposes,  Logan's  letters  to 
Chirnside  and  the  torn  letter, 
215  ;  swears  to  the  truth  of  his 
last  five  depositions,  217 ;  on 
Logan's  ship  venture  with  Lord 
Willoughby,  219 ;  solemnly 
confesses  to  the  forgery  of  the 
letters  in  Logan's  hand,  220; 
details  respecting  the  letter  of 
Logan  to  Gowrie  on  which  he 
modelled  his  forgeries,  220,  221, 
222,  223  ;  the  letter  found  in 
his  kist,  224;  copies  endorsed 
by  him  found  among  the  Had- 
dington  MSS.,  224,  225  ;  oral 
discrepancies,  225  ;  tried  and 
hanged  at  Edinburgh,  226 ; 
protestations  on  the  scaffold, 
226  ;  small  effect  of  his  dying 
confession  on  the  Kirk  party, 
227 ;  motives  which  prompted 
his  forgeries,  227-231 
Stewart,  Colonel,  his  part  in  the 
arrest  and  the  conviction  of 
Gowrie's  father,  11,  120,  122  ; 
dreads  Gowrie's  revenge,  140 

'  THE  Verie  Manner  of  the  Erll 
of  Gowrie  and  his  brother, 
their  death,  &c.,'  a  manuscript 
written  in  vindication  of  the 
Euthvens,  received  by  Carey, 
and  forwarded  to  Cecil,  81 ; 
conspectus  of  its  arguments : 



Dr.  Herries  shown  the  secret 
parts  of  Gowrie  House  a  day 
or  two  before  the  tragedy,  82  ; 
preparations  by  Gowrie's  re- 
tainers on  the  fatal  day  to 
accompany  him  to  Dirleton, 
82 ;  the  visit  of  the  Master 
to  Falkland,  accompanied  by 
Buthven  and  Henderson,  83; 
the  Master  sends  Henderson 
to  Gowrie  with  a  message  that 
the  King  will  visit  him  '  for 
what  occasion  he  knew  not,' 
83  ;  the  Master  tells  Craigen- 
gelt  that  Ahercromby  brought 
the  King  to  Gowrie  House  to 
take  order  for  his  debt,  83,  84  ; 
James  accompanied  to  Perth 
by  sixty  horsemen,  84  ;  Gowrie 
advertised  of  the  King's  ap- 
proach by  Henderson,  84; 
James  meets  Gowrie  on  the 
Inch  of  Perth  and  kisses  him, 
85 ;  a  hurried  dinner,  85  ;  the 
keys  of  the  house  handed  to 
Gowrie's  retainers,  85  ;  the 
slaughter  of  the  Master  in  the 
presence  of  four  of  James's 
followers,  85  ;  a  servant  of 
James  brings  the  news  that 
he  has  ridden  off,  85  ;  Gowrie 
hears  his  Majesty  call  from 
the  window  that  the  Master  is 
killed  by  traitors  and  James 
himself  in  peril,  86  ;  Gowrie 
and  Cranstoun  alone  permitted 
by  James's  servants  to  enter 
the  House,  86 ;  Sir  Thomas 
Erskine's  dual  role,  86 ;  the 
true  account  of  Gowrie's  death, 
87 ;  the  question  of  Henderson's 
presence  at  Falkland,  83,  87, 
92  ;  derivation  of  the  narrative, 
87  ;  on  the  payment  by  Gowrie 
of  his  father's  debts,  87  ;  points 
on  which  the  narrative  is  false, 
86-88;  points  ignored,  88,  89; 
presents  a  consistent  theory 
of  the  King's  plot,  89  ;  con- 
flicting statements,  89,  90,  91, 

92 ;  the  detail  of  the  locked 
door,  92 

'  True  Discourse,'  quoted  on  the 
doors  leading  to  the  turret,  52 

'  True  Discovery  of  the  late  Trea- 
son, the  '  (unpublished  MS.),  on 
the  Gowrie  family,  48 

Tullibardine,  Young,  at  the 
slaughter  of  the1  Earl  of  Gow- 
rie, 28,  33  ;  effort  to  relieve  the 
King,  60;  helps  to  pacify  the 
populace  after  the  tragedy,  88 

Tytler,  Mr.,  cited,  on  James  VI, 
5 ;  on  the  King's  account  of 
the  Gowrie  tragedy,  41,  42 ; 
on  Logan's  plot -letters,  169 

URCHILL,  present  at  the  slaughter 
of  the  Gowries,  19 

VINDICATION  of  the  Euthvens,  the 
contemporary,  80  et  seq.,  252 
et  seq. 

WALLACE,  asks  Sprot  for  silence 
on  Logan's  conspiracy,  187 

Watson,  Eev.  Alexander,  on  the 
Logan  plot-letters,  242 

Wilky,  Alexander,  surety  for 
John  Wilky  not  to  harm 
tailor  Lyn,  73,  74 

Wilky,  John,  his  pursuit  of  tailor 
Lyn  for  revealing  Eobert 
Oliphant's  confidences  respect- 
ing the  Gowrie  plot,  73,  74 

Willoughby,  Lord,  kidnaps  Ash- 
field,  139  ;  his  opinion  of  Logan 
of  Eestalrig,  159  ;  builds  a  ship 
for  protection  of  English  com- 
merce, 218  ;  offers  the  venture 
to  Cecil  if  subsidised  by  govern- 
ment, 218,  219  ;  admits  Logan 
to  the  venture,  218,  219 ;  dies 
suddenly  on  board  his  ship,  219 

Wilson  (Erskine's  servant),  at  the 
slaughter  of  the  Euthvens,  27, 
30,  31,  85 

YOUNGER,  suspected  as  the  man 
in  the  turret,  62 

Spottiswoode  <&  Co.  Ltd.  Printers,  Jfeip-street  Square,  London. 


»  _-  .— .  J . 

ft  *-»-a 



•  r>. 

H  Classtfieb    Catalogue 





39    PATERNOSTER    ROW,    LONDON,    E.G. 




BIOGRAPHY,        PERSONAL        ME- 
MOIRS,  &c. 



MENT, &c. 



FICTION,  HUMOUR,  &c.   - 






&c.  ------ 











WORKS      -  -  - 


NOMICS     - 


SERIES  -         -  - 

COLONIES,  &c.         -  - 












Abbott  (Evelyn)  -     3, 22 

-  (J.  H.  M.)  3 

(T.  K.)       -  -  17,18 

(E.  A.)      -  17 

Acland  (A.  H.  D.)  -          3 

Acton  (Eliza)    -  36 

Adeane  (J.  H.)  -  9 

Adelborg  (O.)   -  32 

jEschylus  22 

Ainger  (A.  C.)  -  14 
Albemarle  (Earl  of)  -        13 

Alcock  (C.  W.)  15 

Allen  (Grant)    -  30 

Allgood  (G.)      -  3 

Alverstone  (Lord)  -         15 

Angwin  (M.  C.)  36 

Anstey  (F.)  25 

Aristophanes    -  22 

Aristotle   -  17 

Armstrong  (W.)  13 
Arnold  (Sir  Edwin)-  11,23 

(Dr.  T.)     -  3 

Ashbourne  (Lord)  -          3 

Ashby  (H.)  36 

Ashley  (W.  J.)  -  -    3,  20 

Avebury  (Lord)  -        21 

Ayre  (Rev.  J.)  -  31 

Bacon  -    9,17 
Bagehot  (W.)  -       9,  20,  38 

Bagwell  (R.)     -  3 

Bailey  (H.  C.)  -  25 

Baillie  (A.  F.)  -  3 

Bain  (Alexander)  -        17 

Baker  (J.  H.)    -  38 

(Sir  S.  W.)  ir 

Balfour  (A.  J.)  -  13,  21 

(Lady  Betty)  -          6 

Ball  (John) 


Banks  (M.  M.)  -        -  24 
Baring-Gould  (Rev. 

S.)-  -21,38 

Barnett(S.  A.  and  H.)  20 

Baynes  (T.  S.)  -  38 

Beaconsfield  (Earl  of)  25 
Beaufort  (Duke  of)  -  13, 14 

Becker  (W.  A.)  22 

Beesly  (A.  H.)  -  9 

Bell  (Mrs.  Hugh)      -  23 

Bent  (J.  Theodore)  -  n 

Besant  (Sir  Walter)-  3 
Bickerdyke  (J.)          -  14,  15 

Bird  (G.)  -        -  23 

Blackburne  (J.  H.)   -  15 

Bland  (Mrs.  Hubert)  24 

Blount  (Sir  E.)  9 

Boase  (Rev.  C.  W.)  -  6 

Boedder  (Rev.  B.)     -  19 

Brassey  (Lady)  n 

(Lord)  14 

Bray  (C.)  -                 -  17 

Bright  (Rev.  J.  F.)  -  3 

Broadfoot  (Major  W.)  13 

Brooks  (H.  J.)  -  17 

Brown  (A.  F.)  -  32 

(J.  Moray)  14 

Bruce  (R.  I.)     -  3 

BryceO.)-  14 

Buck  (H.  A.)     -  14 

Buckland  (Jas.)  32 

Buckle  (H.  T.)-  3 

Bull  (T.)   -                -  36 

Burke  (U.  R.)   -  3 

Burns  (C.  L  )    -  36 

Burrows  (Montagu)  6 

Butler  (E.  A.)   -  30 

ii  I  Cameron  of  Lochiel 


Campbell(Rev.Lewis)  21,22 
Camperdown  (Earl  of)  9 
Chasseloup  -  Laubat 

(Marquisde)-  13 

Chesney  (Sir  G.)  -  3 
Childe-Pemberton(W.S.)  9 

(H.)  13 

Christie  (R.  C.)  38 

ChurchilK  W.  Spencer)  4, 25 
Cicero  22 

Clarke  (Rev.  R.  F.)  -  19 
Climenson  (E.  J.)  -  10 
Clodd  (Edward)  -  21,30 
Clutterbuck  (W.  J.)-  12 
Colenso  (R.  J.)  36 

Conington  (John)  -  23 
Conway  (Sir  W.  M  )  14 
Conybeare  (Rev.  W.  J.) 

&  Howson  (Dean)  33 
Coolidge  (W.  A.  B.)  11 
Corbett  (lulian  S.)  -  4 
Coutts  (W.)  -  22 

Coventry  (A.)  -  14 

Cox  (Harding)  13 

Crake  (Rev.  A.  D.)  -  32 
Craven  (W.  G.)  14 

Crawford  (J.  H.)       -        25 

-(R.)    -  ir 

Creed  (S.)  25 

Creie-hton  (Bishop) -4,  6,  9 
Crozier  (J.  B.)  -  -  9.  '7 
distance  (Col.  H.)  -  15 
Cutts  (Rev.  E.  L.)  -  6 

Dabney  (J.  P.)  -  23 

Dale  (L.)  -  4 

(T.  F.)  14 

Dallinger  (F.  W.)  -          5 

Dauglish  (M.  G.)      - 
Davidson  (A.  M.  C.) 
-(W.  L.)  17, 

Davies  (J.  F.)  - 
Dent  (C.  T.)  - 
De  Salis  (Mrs.) 
De  Tocqueville(A-)- 
Devas  (C.  S.)  - 
Dickinson  (G.  L.)  - 

-  (W.  H.)    - 
Dougall  (L.)      - 
Dowden  (E.)     - 
Doyle  (Sir  A.  Conan) 
Du  Bois  (W.  E.  B.)- 
Dufferin  (Marquis  of) 
Dunbar  (Mary  F.) 
Dyson  (E.) 

Ebrington  (Viscount) 
Ellis  (I.  H.)       - 

-  (R.  L.)       - 
Erasmus  - 
Evans  (Sir  John) 



20,  21 


19,  20 






Falkiner  (C.  L.)  4 

Farrar  (Dean)   -  -  20,  26 

Fitzgibbon  (M.)  4 

Fitzmaurice  (Lord  E.)       4 

Folkard  (H.  C.)  15 

Ford  (H.)  -  16 

(W.  J.)      -  16 

Fountain  (P  n 

Fowler  (Edith  H.)  26 

Francis  (Francis)  -         16 

Francis  (M.  E.)  26 

Freeman  (Edward  A.)  6 

Fremantie  (T.  F.)  -         16 

Fresnfield  (D.  W.)  -        14 

Frost  (G.)-  38 


Froude  (James  A.)  4,9,11,26 

Fuller  (F.  W.)  -  5 

Furneaux  (W.)  30 

Gardiner  (Samuel  R.)  5 
Gathorne-Hardy  (Hon. 

A.  E.)  -  15,  16 
Geikie  (Rev.  Cunning- 
ham) -  38 
Gibbons  (J.  S.)  15 
Gibson  (C.  H.)-  -  17 
Gleig  (Rev.  G.  R.)  -  10 
Goethe  -  23 
Gore-Booth  (Sir  H.  W.)  14 
Graham  (A.)  - 

-(P.  A.)        -        -15,16 

(G.  F.)       -  20 

Granby  (Marquess  of)  15 

Grant  (Sir  A.)  -  17 

Graves  (R.  P.)  -  9 
Green  (T.  Hill)          -  17,  18 

Greene  (E.  B.)-  5 

Greville  (C.  C.  F.)    -  5 

Grose  (T.  H.)   -  18 

Gross  (C.)  5 

Grove  (F.  C.)    -  13 

(Lady)       -  n 

(Mrs.  Lilly)  13 

Gurdon  (Lady  Camilla)  26 

Gurnhill  (J.)"   -  18 

Gvvilt  (J.)  -  31 

Haggard  (H.  Rider) 

n,  26,  27,  38 

Hake  (O.)  -  14 

Halliwell-Phillipps(J.)  10 

Hamilton  (Col.  H.  B.)  5 

Hamlin  (A.  D.  F.)    -  36 

Harding  (S.  B.)  5 
Harmsworth  (A.  C.)    13,  14 

Harte  (Bret)      -  27 

Harting(J.  E.)-  15 

Hartwig  (G.)     -  30 

Hassall  (A.)       -  8 

Havveis  (H.  R.)         -    9,  36 

Head  (Mrs.)      -  37 

Heath  (D.  D.)  -  17 

Heathcote  (J.  M.)     -  14 

(C.G.)       -  14 

(N.)    -  ii 

Helmholtz  (Hermann 

von)  -  30 
Henderson  (Lieut- 
Col.  G.  F.  R.)  -  9 
Henry  (W.)  -  14 
Henty  (G.  A.)  -  -  32 
Herbert  (Col.  Kenney)  15 
Hiley  (R.  W.)  -  9 
Hill  (Mabel)  -  5 
Hillier  (G.  Lacy)  -  13 
Hime  (H.  W.  L.)  -  22 
Hodgson  (Shadworth)iS,  38 
Hoenig  (F.)  -  38 
Hogan  (J.  F.)  -  9 
Holmes  (R.  R.)  10 
Holroyd  (M.  J.)  9 
Homer  -  22 
Hope  (Anthony)  27 
Horace  -  22 
Houston  (D.  F.)  5 
Howard  (Lady  Mabel)  27 
Howitt  (W.)  -  ii 
Hudson  (W.  H.)  -  30 
Huish  (M.  B.)  -  37 
Hullah  (J.)  37 
Hume  (David)  -  18 
-  (M.  A.  S.)  3 
Hunt  (Rev.  W.)  6 
Hunter  (Sir  W.)  -  6 
Hutchinson  (Horace  G.) 

13,  16,  27,  38 





Ingelow  (Jean) 
Ingram  (T.  D.) 


Jackson  (A.  W.)  10 

James  (W.)  18 

Jameson  (Mrs.  Anna)  37 

jefferies  (Richard)    -  38 

Jekyll  (Gertrude)      -  38 

Jerome  ( [erome  K.)  -  27 

Johnson  (J.  &  J.  H.)  39 

Jones  (H.  Bence)      -  31 
oyce  (P.  W.)   -      6,  27,  39 

ustinian  -  18 

Kant  (I.) 

Kaye(Sir  J.  W.) 

Keary  (C.  F.)    - 

Keller  (A.  G.)    - 

Kelly  (E.)- 

Kent  (C.  B.  R.) 

Kerr  (Rev.  J.)    -  14 

Killick  (Rev.  A.  H.)  -  18 

Kilchin  (Dr.  G.  W.)  6 

Knight  (E.  F.)  -        -  n,  14 

Kostlin  (J.)  10 

Kristeller  (P.)   -  37 

Ladd  (G.  T.)  18 

Lang  (Andrew)  6,  14,  16,  21, 

23,  27,  32,  39 

Lapsley  (G.  T.)  5 

Lascelles  (Hon.  G.)    13,  15 

Laurie  (S.  S.)   -  6 

Lawley  (Hon.  F.)     -  14 

Lawrence  (F.  W.)     -  20 

Lear  (H.  L.  Sidney)  -  36 

Leckv  (W.  E.  H.)    6,  18,  23 

Lees  (J.  A.)  12 

Leighton  (J.  A.)  18 

Leslie  (T.  E.  Cliffe)  -  20 

Lieven  (Princess)     -  8 

Lillie  (A.)  -  16 

Lmdley  (J.)  31 

Locock  (C.  D.)  16 

Lodge  (H.  C.)  -  6 

Loftie  (Rev.  W.  J.)  -  6 

Longman  (C.  J.)       -  12,  16 

(F.  W.)      -  16 

(G.  H.)       -         -12,15 

(Mrs.  C.  J.)  37 

Lowell  (A.  L.)  -  6 

Lubbock  (Sir  John)  -  21 

Lucan  22 

Lucian      -  22 

Lutoslawski  (W.)     -  18 

Lyall  (Edna)      -  27 

Lynch  (G.)         -        -  6 

-(H.  F.  B.)-  12 : 

Lyttelton  (Hon.  R.  H.)  13  [ 

-  (Hon.  A.)  i  14  | 

Lytton  (Earl  of)        -    6,  24  | 

Macaulay  (Lord)  6, 7, 10, 24 

Macdonald  (Dr.  G.)  -  24  I 

Macfarren  (Sir  G.  A.)  37  | 

Mackail  (J.  W.)         -  10,  23 

Mackenzie  (C.  G.)    -  16 

Mackinnon  (J.)  7 

Macleod  (H.  D.)  20 
Macpherson      (Rev. 

H.  A.)  15 

Madden  (D.  H.)  16 

Magnusson  (E.)  28 

Maher  (Rev.  M.)       -  19 

Malleson  (Col.  G.  B.)  6 

Marchment  (A.  W.)  27 

Marshman  (J.  C.)      -  9 

Maryon  (M.)     -  39 

Mason  (A.  E.  W.)    -  27 

Maskelyne  (J.  N.)     -  16 

Matthews  (B.)  39 

Maunder  (S.)    -  31 
Max  Miiller  (F.) 

10,  18,  20,  21,  22,  27,  39 

Mav  (Sir  T.  Erskine)  7 

McFerran  (J.)   -  14 

Meade  (L.  T.)  -  32 

Mecredy  (R.  J.)  13 

Melville  (G.  J .  Whyte)  27 

Merivale  (Dean)  7 

Mernman  'H.  S.)      -  27 

Mill  (John  Stuart)    -  18,  20 

Millias  (J.  G.)  -        -  16,  30 

Milner  (G.)                 -  40 

Mitchell  (E.B.)  13 

Monck(W.  H.  S.)    -  19 

Montague  (F.  C.)     -  7 

Moon  (G.  W.)  -  24 

Moore  (T.)  31 

—  (Rev.  Edward)  -  17 

Morgan  (C.  Lloyd)  -  21 

Morris  (Mowbray)    -  13 

— (W.)                       22.J23,  24, 

27,  28,  37,  40 

Mulhall  (M.  G.)  20 

Murray  (Hilda)  33 

Nansen  (F.)       -  12 

Nash  (V.)  -                 -  7 

Nesbit  (E.) 
Nettleship  (R.  L.) 
Newman  (Cardinal)  - 
Nichols  (F.  M.) 

Ogilvie  (R.)       - 
Oldfield  (Hon.  Mrs.) 
Onslow  (Earl  of)       - 
Osbourne  (L.)  - 









Packard  (A.  S.)  21 

Paget(SirJ.)  -  -  10 
Park(\V.)  16 

Parker  (B.)  40 

Payne-Gallwey    (Sir 

R.)  -  14,  16 

Pearson  (C.  H.)  10 

Peek  iHedley)  -  -  14 
Pemberton  (W.  S. 

Childe-)  9 

Pembroke  (Earl  of)  -  14 
Pennant  (C.  D.)  15 

Phillipps-Wolley(C.)  12,28 
Pierce  (A.  H.)  -  19 

Pitman  (C.  M.)  14 

Pleydell-Bouverie  (E.  O.)  14 
Pole  (W.)  -  -  17 

Pollock  (W.  H.)  -  13,  40 
Poole(W.H.andMrs.)  36 
Poore  (G.  V.)  -  -  40 
Pope  (W.  H.)  -  15 

Powell  (E.)  7 

Powys  (Mrs.  P.  L.)  -  10 
Praeger  (S.  Rosamond)  33 
Prevost  (C.)  -  13 

Pritchett  (R.  T.)  -  14 
Proctor  (R.  A.)  -  17,  30 

Raine  (Rev.  James)  -          6 

Ramal  (W.)       -  24 

Randolph  (C.  F.)  -          7 

Rankin  (R.)  -    8,  25 

Ransome  (Cvril)  -      3,  8 

Raymond  (W.)  28 

Reid(S.J.)        -  9 

Rhoades  (J.)      -  23 

Rice  (S.  P.)       -  12 

Rich  (A.)  -  23 

Richardson  (C.)  -  13,  15 

Richmond  (Ennis)  -         19 

Rickaby  (Rev.  John)  19 

-  (Rev.  Joseph)  -        19 
Ridley  (Sir  E.)  -  22 

-  (Lady  Alice)      -        28 
Riley  (J.  W.)     -  24 
Roberts  (E.  P.)  33 
Roget  (Peter  M.)      -  20,  31 
Rolls  (Hon.  C.  S.)    -        13 
Romanes  (G.  J.)  10,  19,21,24 

-  (Mrs.  G.  J.)       -         10 
Ronalds  (A.)      -  17 
Roosevelt  (T.)  -  6 
Ross  (Martin)  -                 28 
Rossetti  (Maria  Fran- 

cesca)     -  40 

Rotheram  (M.  A.)  -        36 

Rowe  (R.  P.  P.)  14 

Russell  (Lady)-  10 

Saintsbury  (G.)  15 

Salomons  (Sir  D.)  -  13 
Sandars  (T.  C.)  18 

Sanders  (E.  K.)  9 

Savage-  Armstrong(G.F.)25 

(Hon.  J.)  13 

Seebohm  (F.)  -  -  8,  10 
Selous  (F.  C.)  -  -  12,  17 
Senior  (W.)  -  -  14,  15 
Seth-Smith  (C.  E.)  -  14 
Seton-Karr  -  8 

Sewell  (Elizabeth  M.)  28 
Shadwell  (A.)  -  40 

Shakespeare      -  25 

Shand  (A  I.)  -  -  15 
Shaw  (W.  A.)  -  8 

Shearman  (M.)  -  12,  13 
Sheehan  (P.  A.)  28 

Sheppard  (E.)  - 
Sinclair  (A.)      -  14 

Skrine  (F.  H.)  -  -  9 
Smith  (C.  Fell)  -  10 

-  (R.  Bosworth)  -          8 
-(T.  C.)       -  5 

Smith(W.P.Haskett)  12 
Somerville  (E.)  28 

Sophocles  -        23 

Soulsby(Lucy  H.)  40 

Southey  (R.)     -  40 

Spahr  (C.  B.)    -  20 

Spedding(J.)  9, 

Spender  (A.  E.) 
Stanley  (Bishop) 
Stebbing  (W.)  -        -  10. 
Steel  (A.  G.)      - 
Stephen  (Leslie) 
Stephens  (H.  Morse) 
Sternberg        (Count 

Adalbert)    - 
Stevens  (R.  W.) 
Stevenson  (R.  L.)  25, 2f 
Storr  (F.)  - 
Stubbs  (J.  W.)- 
Suffolk  &   Berkshire 

(Earl  of)  - 
Sullivan  (Sir  E.) 
Sully  (James)  - 
Sutherland  (A.  and  G.) 

-  (Alex.)  -  19,  4 

-(G.)    • 

Suttner  (B.  von) 
Swan  (M.) 

Swinburne  (A.  J.)     - 
Symes  (J.  E.)    - 

Tait(J.)     -         -         - 
Tallentyre  (S.  G.)     - 
Tappan  (E.  M.) 
Taylor  (Col.  Meadows) 

Tebbutt  (C.  G.)  14 

Terry  (C.  S.)     -        -  10 

Thomas  (J.  W.)  19 
Thomson  (H.  C.)      - 

Thornhill  (W.  J.)      -  23 

Thornton  (T.  H.)     -  10 

Todd  (A.)  -  8 

Tout  (T.  F.)      -  7 

Toynbee  (A.)     -  20 
Trevelyan  (Sir  G.  O.) 

6,  7,  8,  9,  10 

(G.  M.)      -        -  7,  8 

Trollope  (Anthony)-  29 

Turner  (ii.  G.)  40 

Tyndall  (J.)                 -  9,  12 
Tyrrell  (R.  Y.)  -        -22,23 

Unwin  (R.)  40 

Upton(F.K.and  Bertha)    33 

Van  Dyke  (J.  C.)      - 
'  Veritas  '  - 

Wagner  (R.)     - 
Wakeman  (H.  O.)     - 
Walford  (L.  B.) 
Wallas  (Graham) 
(Mrs.' Graham) - 







Walpole  (Sir  Spencer)  8,  10 

(Horace)  10 

Walrond  (Col.  H.)    -  12 

Walsingham  (Lord)-  14 

Ward  ( Mrs.  W.)       -  29 

Warwick  (Countess  of)  40 

Watson  (A.  E.  T.)    -  14 

(G.  L.)       -  14 

Weathers  (J.)    -  40 
Webb  (Mr.  and  Mrs. 

Sidney)       -  20 

-  (Judge  T.)  40 
-(T.  E.)       -        -19,23 

Weber  (A.)  19 

Weir  (Capt.  R.)  14 
Wellington  (Duchess  of)  37 

West  (B.  B.)    -  29 

Weyman  (Stanley)  -  29 
Whately(Archbishop)  17,19 

Whitelaw  (R.)  -  23 

WhittalKSirJ.  W. )-  40 

Wilkins  (G.)      -  23 

-(W.  H.)     -  3 

Willard  (A.  R.)  37 

Willich(C.  M.)  31 

Witham  (T.  M.)  14 

Wood  (Rev.  J.  G.)    -  31 

Wood-Martin  (W.  G.)  22 

Wyatt  (A.  J.)    -  24 

Wylie  (J.  H.)    -  8 

Yeats  (S.  Levett)      -        29 
Zeller(E.)         -        -        19